Jimmy Giuffre: My Funny Valentine
My Funny Valentine
Jimmy Giuffre (clarinet)
The Jimmy Giuffre Clarinet (Collectables 6162)
Jimmy Giuffre (clarinet),
Bob Cooper (oboe), Dave Pell (English horn), Marty Berman (bassoon), Ralph Peņa (bass).
Composed by Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart.
Recorded: Los Angeles, CA, March 21, 1956
Rating: 80/100 (learn more)
A quick look at the instrumentation will explain why this is one of the more unusual versions of "My Funny Valentine." It's an odd mix of a classical woodwind quartet with a very jazzy and soulful ostinato bass part. Giuffre had studied composition with Dr. Wesley La Violette, and one wonders if this arrangement began as a homework assignment. Although none of the woodwinds plays in true classical style, the mix of jazz and classical doesn't quite work. Giuffre's subtone clarinet clashes with the strident sound of the double reeds, and while the performance has some level of emotion, it is all so reserved that one wonders about the point of the entire experiment. Giuffre's work deserves to be reexamined, as he created an amazing body of recordings. Unfortunately, this is not the most interesting example.
Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe