Whatever one thinks of the playing of Giuffre, one must admit that at least he does try to be original. The first side here is very folk-music conscious. The limited instrumentation makes for boredom, but the musicians are skilled enough to be able to vary the tone-colours and dynamics enough to make the whole thing very entertaining.
‘…with Jim Hall aiding manfully, this odd little composition puffs along pleasantly
I can’t help feeling that Guiffre has musical limitations on all his instruments, but his whispering, pastoral tone has a pulse, and with Jim Hall aiding manfully, this odd little composition puffs along pleasantly.
The blues on the reverse just about comes off. Barker and Jones lay down a real beat, and Pee Wee’s feathery interpretations of the blues are full of jazz feeling. His spikey tone is always hot and much of his phrasing unusual.
Barker, after an unfortunate start, plays a good solo, but Jo Jones’ chorus seems a little unnecessary and it sounds as if parts of the session could have done with a lot more rehearsal. Messy in places, but good in others.
(a) The Train And The River – (b) Blues
(a) Jimmy Giuffre (tnr/bari/clt), Jim Hall (bs). 4/12/57.
(b) Giuffre, Pee Wee Russell (clts), Danny Barker (g), Jo Jones (d) 4/12/57.
Fontana TFE 17081. EP. 12s. 3d.