The Jimmy Giuffre Three

March 4, 2008

Nicolai Foss

One of the most fascinating groups of the greatest decade of jazz ever, the 1950s, was The Jimmy Giuffre Three. Started in 1956 by reed player Giuffre, the group included Jim Hall and either Ralph Pena or Jim Atlas on bass. I am not entirely certain about when the group’s existence ended, but by 1961 Giuffre formed another celebrated trio with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow. Anyway, the original 3 produced amazing chamber jazz, sometimes cerebral, and sometimes downright gutsy. Here is a selection of their tunes, with Bob Brookmeyer appearing on some of the tracks instead of the bass player. Hall’s playing on his ES 175 is amazing.

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