Music: Chamber Jazz

Jimmy Giuffre is a spare, soft-spoken Texan who distrusts the word jazz, but plays some of the best jazz to be heard these days—most of it of his own composition. Giuffre (pronounced joo-free) has broken the rules; he does not believe that jazz requires any particular combination of instruments, or that it needs a strong beat, or that its heart is improvisation. To addicts weaned on driving, Basie-inspired rhythm sections, Jimmy's chamois-soft contrapuntal compositions sometimes do not sound like jazz at all. But the feeling is there—a folksy, blues-drenched feeling, timeless and distinct...

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