Recent listening, current

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

32. The Jimmy Giuffre 3 / The Easy Way (1959)

The Easy Way is darned sneaky, the way it passes so quietly upon first listening. The music is so sparse that it stops your breath like a stillborn moment, a feeling almost too sparse, but the second time around, that same quality forces a closer inspection and reveal ongoing relationships of very dynamic interplay at the heart of the chemistry. I keep going back to it. In this 1959 session, Giuffre swaps bassist Ralph Pena for Ray Brown, trading the busy sound of Pena for Brown's commanding and bluesy style. They work with it. On "Ray's Time" we get an extra dose of the Ray dimension while Jim Hall comps and Giuffre lays out. When Giuffre is playing he is taking a lot of ideas from Brown and Hall, who turn them right back around. The album is divided into two distinct halves: the first comprised of blues like the Ray tune and standards like "Mack the Knife," and a more exploratory or section, marked by "Time Enough," "Montage," and "Off Center."

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