[JPL] Jimmy Giuffre

Steve Schwartz steve_schwartz at wgbh.org
Fri Apr 25 07:31:29 EDT 2008


I'm sorry to report that I just heard from Juanita Giuffre that Jimmy
died of pneumonia and Parkinson's today (April 24) two days before what
would have been his 87th birthday.  I met them (via email) because they
listened regularly to my show and we discovered that Jimmy and I shared
our birthday, April 26.  We usually exchanged cards this time of year.

He was most famous for "Four Brothers" with Woody, or with Shorty
Rogers "Martians Go Home" or the Lighthouse All Stars, but fewer are
aware of the beautiful very personal music he made in the 70's, 80's
and 90s, much of it very free but in a thoughtful, non-aggressive kind
of way.  He was very important as a teacher as well, notably at the New
England Conservatory.   I'm spending the evening listening to some of
Jimmy's great trio music... right now the trio with Paul Bley and Steve
Swallow "Fly Away Little Bird".   I just read a beautiful article on
Jimmy written about 5 years ago by Rex Butters on allaboutjazz.com .

Jim Wilke

I was going to play a few things by Jimmy on my show tonight to celebrate
his birthday.
Now I will also play, "Jimmy Giuffre, A Jazz Portrait" a half hour radio
documentary I Produced about 10 years ago. It's Jimmy telling his own story,
in his own voice, complemented by the music he heard and made throughout his
long career.
He was still teaching at NE Conservatory at the time, coming in to Boston
from West Stockbridge, MA a few days a week. I also visited Jimmy and
Juanita at their beautiful stone mill house in Western Massachusetts to
complete the interview when Jimmy got too ill to travel into Boston. I'll
air this program tonight at 9pm, Eastern Time.

Rest in Peace, Jimmy

Steve Schwartz
Jazz from Studio Four
Friday, 8p-midnight
WGBH, 89.7FM, Boston
ww/wgbh/org/jazz
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