JIMMY GIUFFRE TRIO
THE SWAMP PEOPLE
GIANT STEPS (GSCR030)
Pickin' ‘Em Up And Layin' ‘Em Down, The Green Country (New England Mood), The Lonely Time, Trav'lin Light, 42nd Street, Show Me The Way To Go Home, The Swamp People, California Here I Come, Come Rain Or Shine, Ode To Switzerland, I Got A Right To Sing The Blues, Space, Cabin In The Sky, Memphis In June, Four Brothers, Old Folks, Blues In The Barn, The Train And The River, Pony Express
This is the Jimmy Giuffre Trio CD I've been waiting for! This music made by a saxophone player doubling up with clarinet (Guiffre), a guitar player (Jim Hall) and a valve trombone player (Bob Brookmeyer) was described by Giuffre as "blues-based folk jazz".
It first caught most people's imagination when the trio's first hit ‘The Train And The River' was used as the evocative opening music for Bert Stern's timeless documentary film about the1958 Newport Jazz Festival, ‘Jazz On A Summer's Day'. That live track is included here along with ‘Pony Express' recorded the same day.
If you, like me, were fascinated by the sounds coming from Newport, you'll be thrilled with this CD. It's full of the music that Giuffre was meticulously constructing all through the late fifties, when he was investigating curious rhythms and experimenting with music that was rich in timbre and texture.
It's an exhilarating sound with the main theme being shared by the clarinet and trombone while the guitar weaves in and out of the fabric of the song, driving the rhythm along but allowing the wind instruments enough time to chop and change the melody with their funky swinging lines. I could listen to this stuff all day long.
Also on this CD you'll come across what's known as the ‘Four Brothers Sound Project' that features Giuffre multi-tracking on tenor sax. The old standard ‘Come Rain Or Shine' is especially fascinating - never expect the expected with Jimmy Giuffre! Get this CD. It's beautiful and will keep you enthralled for hours on end. Excellent notes by Roy Carr too!
If you want more Giuffre, try ‘The Cool One', again on Giant Steps (GSCR017) which covers ‘Four Brothers' and ‘Tangents In Jazz' - his work on Capitol in the mid-50s
Review Date: May 2009