Jimmy Giuffre/Andre Jaume: Momentum, Willisau 1988

Studio versions of some of the individual pieces here (a couple of the solos, especially) might make stronger impressions but taken in context even the few less interesting moments form part of the ebb and flow of ideas in a very strong live set. I always feel with Giuffre a bit as if I were watching a tightrope walker. There is such a delicate balance in the way he almost squeezes the unexpected out of thin air that I’m always aware when he completes his journey that I half expected a fall. Jaume is right there, too. There are moments of real beauty on the best duets, but the cumulative effect of the set is even more rewarding, perhaps because everything that happens is unforced. Good duo work is rare because it’s difficult; Giuffre and Jaume make it sound effortless.