Jimmy Giuffre

The Easy Way

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Jimmy Giuffre's small-group recordings of the late '50s and early '60s are renowned for his lyrical tone and intimate chamber jazz settings. Joined by frequently collaborator Jim Hall on guitar and bassist Ray Brown (who easily settles into the mellower atmosphere far removed from his many recordings with Oscar Peterson), Giuffre primarily sticks to clarinet in his interpretations of the standards "Mack the Knife" and "Come Rain or Come Shine." Switching to tenor sax, Giuffre negotiates Jim Hall's tricky "Careful," though it is Hall's bluesy solo that is the highlight of this track. Giuffre's "Ray's Time" is a blues dedicated to Brown, featuring his driving bass underneath the leader's smoky tenor sax. Giuffre's effort on baritone sax, "Time Enough," makes it obvious that this isn't his primary instrument; his sound is much harsher and less melodic than either clarinet or tenor sax. Long out of print, this 2003 CD reissue will only be available from Verve until 2006.

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