4 April 2012

Jimmy Giuffre, Paul Bley, Steve Swallow - Emphasis, Flight, 1961

There was a request for this one which is reportedly gettng harder to come by. This copy was located on Usenet, so thanks to the original poster. These recordings were only out in the 90s as two single cds and then reissued as a double cd on the Hatology label, but in a limited edition. There is another double cd, reissued by ECM, containing studio recordings in New York from earlier in the same year and still generally available. We posted back in 2008 another concert, in Austria, from the same European tour here, but the links to that one may have to be updated, which I'll see to.

This is chamber jazz, somewhere at the intersection of contemporary music and jazz, on entirely new terrain and an experiment not well understood at the time, as this trio were to prove short-lived. However, they regrouped in the 90s and have belatedly received the recognition that should have been forthcoming thirty years earlier. Today a spin-off group of sorts has adopted the name of Free Fall, the final album from the trio, and the instrumentation as well. We have also posted the Free Fall trio in the past.

A couple of quotes to give an indication of what this trio was about:

It would be wrong to say that this trio was ahead of its time, though their methods have proven invaluable to the musicians who followed, since they were so much of their time, a time when a breath of fresh air blew through the arts and created an enthusiaswm of energy, an acceptance of new modes of expression. Swallow, Bley and Giuffre's remarkable musicianship, intellect, invention, and empathy created timeless music of significance and deep feeling.

Art Lange

Just as (Ornette) Coleman's music challenged the validity of the pianist as accompanist, Giuffre's music challenged the necessity of the drum/bass format as a rhythm machine. Now each instrument became their own rhythm machine, and since you were playing music with or without tempo, the group could consist of a cello and flute and oboe and that would be a jazz trio. We found that one of the ways to break out of successful molds - to get out of a particular era in music that had locked us in - was to change the instrumentation.

Paul Bley

Basic facts:

Jimmy Giuffre, Paul Bley, Steve Swallow - Emphasis & Flight, 1961
Hatology CD 595 - 1/2

Jimmy Giuffre clarinet
Paul Bley piano
Steve Swallow double bass

Emphasis, Stuttgart 1961

1. Whirrrr
2. Emphasis
3. Sonic
4. Venture
5. Jesus Maria (Carla Bley)
6. Stretching Out (Suite for Germany)
7. Carla (Paul Bley)
8. Cry, Want

Recorded November 2, 1961 at Mozartsaal, Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany

Flight, Bremen 1961

1. Call of the Centaur
2. Postures
3. Sonic
4. Goodbye
5. Stretching Out (Suite for Germany)
6. Cry, Want
7. Flight
8. That's True, That's True
9. Trance

Recorded November 23, 1961, at Sendesaal Radio Bremen, Germany

All compositions (except otherwise noted) by Jimmy Giuffre


kinabalu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Philo said...

This is new to me.

I'm not surprised that it puzzled audiences in 1961. It is quite a jump from Ahmad Jamal's 1955 "Chamber Music of the New Jazz" album to what Giuffre, Bley & Swallow were doing.

Thanks for posting.

kingpossum said...

Hey Philo, yes it's easy to see why it puzzled audiences in 1961...I'm not sure I fully grasp so-called chamber jazz now. Great listening regardless.

Thanks for the posts Philo and kinbabalu.


klakadak said...

Always pleasure to listen to Guiffre, and I never had a chance to hear any recordings of this lineup. Thank you very much, Kinabalu!

klakadak said...

And extra thanks for updating "live in Austria 1961" links!

Piromas said...

Ditto to klakadak.

Bill said...

Remains intriguing after 50 yr. Thanks Kinabalu.

DrEyescope said...

Thank you kinabalu.I've wanted to hear this again since I first heard a few minutes of it last year.I loved it.Best thing I'd ever heard from Swallow, who I'm usually not partial to.

djh said...

Educational and a great listen. Just starting with Giuffre, cheers.

twing:kling said...

Thanks kinabalu, you made my week with this one!

The ECM reissue ('1961') of the 'Fusion' and 'Thesis' sessions comes highly recommended. Excellent quality double vinyl as well. Now if only someone would do a proper reissue of 'Free Fall'.

Best wishes.

duck said...

Thanks for this Giuffre,Bley,Swallow set. I have Conversations with a Goose (1996) so it is nice to get another by the same trio. your efforts are appreciated

definitivegaze said...

please a re-post

kinabalu said...

New link:


francisco santos said...

Big THX !....

Ruki444 said...


revroth said...

Repost please?

Ernst Grgo Nebhuth said...

It was reissued recently in an expanded edition on Emanem which goes highly recommended.