When my alarm went off this morning, I didn’t hear the familiar tones of Phil Schaap and Charlie Parker, but instead the familiar chalameau register of Jimm Giuffre’s clarinet. I figured he was gone. So he was.
It’s the Jimmy Giuffre memorial broadcast on WKCR today, and give a listen if you have the chance. A hard swinging but quiet musician, elegant, lyrical and bluesy, he was also a quiet radical in an era of radical jazz. His trio with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow was no less avant-garde than Ornette Coleman‘s or Cecil Tayor‘s ensembles. Their reunion on Owl records (reissued on Sunnyside), almost 30 years later produced some of the best, and best-focussed, freely improvised jazz on record. And quiet and lovely too.
Here’s a clip with another excellent trio, featuring Jim Hall on guitar: