From 1957 to 1959, reed player Jimmy Giuffre led a revolutionary trio. It featured Giuffre on clarinet, tenor sax and baritone sax; guitarist Jim Hall; and a series of bass players, including Ralph Peña, Jim Atlas, Red Mitchell, Ray Brown and Wilfred Middlebrooks. Even Bob Brookmeyer took a turn at the piano and valve trombone. What made the jazz group special was its passion for Americana folk with a sophisticated spin. All members of the group were daredevil players—with Giuffre blowing ribbons of fascinating cool-jazz ideas, Hall pecking out penetrating chords and sharp lines, and Peña and other bassists laying down thick, rubbery bass platforms.
In 1959, jazz impresario Norman Granz organized a European tour that included the trio. In Rome, at the Teatro Adriano, they were captured in action by Italian television. Here's the trio playing Giufffre's Four Brothers...
JazzWax tracks: If you dig this trio, you'll find The Complete Jimmy Giuffre Trio, a four-CD set, here and here.
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