Giuffre – Jazz Phrasing and Interpretation

I’ve posted about this book (Giuffre’s only published book) before on this blog, but I wanted to announce that I’ve posted my scan of the book on Scribd. The book will be available there, hopefully for all time! Apologies for the less than perfect quality, I was only allowed to take cell phone photos of each page in the library. Here it is:

Enjoy! Jimmy’s writing is illuminating. Stay tuned for an interactive map of New York’s famed former jazz clubs that I’m currently working on.

Here’s a short bio of Jimmy that I recently wrote:

(b Dallas, TX 26 April 1921; d Pittsfield, MA, 24 April 2008). American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, composer and arranger. Giuffre began playing clarinet at age nine, later picking up the tenor saxophone. He earned a music degree from North Texas State University, then voluntarily joined the Air Force where he continued to work on his music for four years. After the war, he moved to LA and studied composition with mystic composer Wesley LaViolette. LaViolette’s emphasis on the importance of counterpoint strongly influenced Giuffre’s writing. In 1947, he helped define the burgeoning “cool jazz” sound with his composition and arrangement “Four Brothers.” In the 1950s he played in bands with Shorty Rogers, Shelly Manne, and Howard Rumsey, and in 1956 he formed the first incarnation of the Jimmy Giuffre Three, featuring guitarist Jim Hall and bassist Ralph Peña. This chamber group featured innovative arrangements of standards and Jimmy’s original pieces, often blues and Americana inspired. Peña was replaced by Bob Brookmeyer on valve trombone, forming a group that is immortalized in the film Jazz on a Summer’s Day, which features their signature tune “The Train and the River.” Meeting Ornette Coleman led Giuffre to form a new free jazz trio with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow. This group recorded the fully improvised album Free Fall (1962, Columbia), among others. Free Fall is now regarded as a critical recording of the early 1960s but at the time was a commercial failure. For the next 10 years, Giuffre focused on teaching; first at the Lenox School of Jazz, then at New York University and the New School. In 1978 he joined the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music, where he taught for almost two decades. He published his only book, Jazz Phrasing and Interpretation, in 1969. In the 1980s Giuffre recorded a few albums featuring electronics, along with a reunion of the Swallow and Bley band in 1990 and 1992. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the early 1990s and was forced to retire from teaching and playing for the last 10 years of his life.

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  1. Hello Jon, I’m Richard Koler here in Sydney, Australia. Whist Listening to a c.d. I bought: Lee Konitz meets Jimmy Giuffre …featuring Bill Evans fresh sound records FSR-565, I googled Jimmy Giuffre and located the book Jazz Phrasing and interpretation by (you) ….Well, I’d like to buy a copy, but also interested in your very interesting Youtudbe series of instructions and talk through Jazz clinic sort of things you do. If I may, I’d like to join in and receive some of this. So, how do I set up something with you, snd send you money ….I assume. My email address is: Look forward to hearing back, Thanks!

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