Jimmy Giuffre

Eiffel: Live in Paris, 1987

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5This is the first of a pair of recorded live dates between reedmen Jimmy Giuffre and André Jaume -- the other one was recorded a few months later at Willisau and released on Hat. Where the latter date focuses on Giuffre's compositions and duet improvisation, this one is its mirror image: a concert dedicated to the music of Jaume and duo improvs. The mood is mellow, somewhat abstract, but completely flowing and melodic throughout. Jaume is a consummate composer for two horns, as is evidence by the slow, methodical, and hauntingly beautiful title track with Giuffre's clarinet playing direct melodic counterpoint to Jaume's tenor saxophone. Like Giuffre, Jaume is a master of dynamic, considering the tonal and timbral possibilities before he ever sets an idea in motion, and hoping to retrieve from his partner some new line of question and answer along those parameters. One of the improvisations, "I'll Be There" seeks its opening voice in the vibrational exchange between clarinet and tenor, and then between soprano and tenor -- eventually weaving both tonalities into a third for each man to explore. On Giuffre's "Once," the blues frame becomes the architectural building block where the foundations of the 12 bars and their jazz extrapolations build into harmonic dialogue and inquiry. There are no repeated lines. The two centerpieces are Jaume's stellar "Dinky Toys" pieces -- both written for Giuffre -- where in one case clarinet and in another soprano become rhythm and lead instruments simultaneously with a swing line written through the middle for Jaume to comp on, opening up the distinct possibility of a new lyric harmony inside the tune's body. This is a wonderful and necessary companion to Live at Willisau.

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