Jimmy Giuffre: Jesus Maria
Jimmy Giuffre 3 – 1961 (ECM 1438/39 78118-21438-2)
Composed by Carla Bley.
Recorded: New York, March 3, 1961
Rating: 98/100 (learn more)
After his evocative folk-jazz signature piece "The Train and the River" graced both The Sound of Jazz telecast (1957) and the film Jazz on a Summer's Day (1958), Jimmy Giuffre grew restless. Supplanting accessibility with abstraction, Giuffre symbolized jazz's final, fateful segue from popular entertainment to niche art. Carla Bley's gentle "Jesus Maria" is a transitional piece, taking Giuffre near the avant-garde's precipice without plunging over. (Free Fall would come soon, both as album title and career description.) Lovely, lyrical, yet at times skirting atonality, "Jesus Maria" is a snapshot capturing an artist's past and future in one fascinating moment.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz