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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Music: Jimmy Giuffre, Tangents in Jazz


In this second article about my favorite music, I'd like to write about Jimmy Giuffre. I pretty much like all his records. But one of them is quite remarkable since he is going new, different ways: Tangents in Jazz

A very early album from him, released 1955 on Capitol. This album is quite experimental. What is so unusal about it is the absence of an explicit beat. Although the quartett has a bass and a percussion set, these do not provide the rythm or beat as usual. The entire album provides full attention to the notes and phrases and the percussion and bass participate in this.

Even with the absence of an explicitly played beat, the music has drive and rythm. Quite fascinating.

Being recorded in 1955 this album is from the era before stereo. Dispite the fairly early recording date the technical sound quality is excellent. No hiss, a lot of detail and natural dynamics. Uncompressed and unprocessed pure sound! Stereo addicts will be fascinated by the depth of this mono recoding. The instruments have real body. And best of all those beautiful sound colors! A masterpiece in terms of technical recording, innovative music style and passionate playing. This record draws you in. It is playing right now, while I write this article.
I like such experimental music which goes different ways. I'll present two more recordings in future articles which experiment with the way the rythm is done.

Best regards



  1. What an amazing artist you´ve chosen. Although not in the focus of the masses, Jimmy Giuffre is one of the most distinct, adventurous and may I say aristocratic voices in music, not only in Jazz. He proves, that white men can swing and being a sophisticated and rather intellectual musician can include fun. Thanks!

  2. ... agree with Chris, Thomas... I SIMPLY love Jimmy Giuffre's vision and several trios: he gave a dignity more akin to Debussy than to (sometimes) lesser jazz... and "thanks!" ... I didn't know this very record... found and bought it... and WOW... it's everything you say... highly recommended to everyone!