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on 4 October 2016
I'm not really sure about this. Ideally the MJQ and Giuffre should be ideal partners, both being very serious about their music, both being very individual and both having a penchant to some extent for classical forms and influences. I suppose the important words there are 'to some extent', because normally both are chock full of jazz feeling, however it is packaged. Here, however, the jazz doesn't always come through. For much of the time the collective sound is John Lewis playing the theme straight with slightly ponderous chording and limited accompaniment from vibes bass and drums. On Giuffre's three tunes the clarinet is fairly icy.
So that's the bad side. However, with musicians of this quality plenty of good stuff is also there. It has to be said also that this performance is far better than the companion piece with Sonny Rollins who appears unnaturally subdued.
Giuffre appears on 'A Fugue For Music Inn', 'Serenade' and 'Fun'. Each of them are impressive examples of collective work although slightly formal, not usually a characteristic of anything called 'fun'. Elsewhere the quartet produce a beautiful version of one of Lewis' masterpieces, 'Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West', which is melodic, relaxed and swinging, with fine solo work from piano and vibes. Nearly as good as the original version with Lewis and Bill Perkins! Elsewhere are two lively versions of 'Sun Dance' and attractive work on 'The Man That Got Away' and 'A Morning In Paris'.
It was a very good idea to bring these men together, not always completely successful, but possibly should have been tried again.
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on 29 September 2015
Great recording of this classic grouping. The Jimmy Guiffre contribution really puts the icing on the cake.
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on 4 May 2013
I have the original mono LP which is far superior in sound quality. This CD is in stereo and it lacks dynamics due to its low output.
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on 11 December 2014
My memories of this music bring back happy times in years gone by.
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