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Jimmy Giuffre 3 & 4: New York Concerts

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Columbia Records dropped Jimmy Giuffre following 1962’s experimental Free Fall, and he didn’t record another album for nine years. The period in-between has been called his “lost decade,” but the clarinetist-saxophonist kept busy. His forward vision fit right in at the New York Festival of the Avant Garde in 1965, even though he wasn’t completely aligned with the New Thing. Giuffre’s set from the festival was recorded and broadcast once on Columbia University’s radio station, WKCR-FM, along with a session done earlier in the year in a college auditorium. Both sets are being released as New York Concerts, heard for the first time since those broadcasts, and they present some missing pieces of the Giuffre puzzle.

That year, Giuffre added drums to Free Fall‘s chamber-group lineup of clarinet, piano and bass. He also dusted off his tenor saxophone, playing it with a liberated attitude that made his Woody Herman tune “Four Brothers” little more than a distant memory. He can’t be confused with Albert Ayler on the instrument, but it does add rough-and-tumble textures to his arsenal.

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