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Free Fall Original recording remastered

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Free Fall
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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, September 1, 1998
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 1, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000ADKN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,177 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Propulsion
2. Threewe
3. Ornothoids
4. Dichotomy
5. Man Alone
6. Spasmodic
7. Yggdrasill
8. Divided Man
9. Primordial Call
10. The Five Ways
11. Present Notion
12. Motion Suspended
13. Future Plans
14. Past Mistakes
15. Time Will Tell
16. Let's See

Editorial Reviews

Clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre was solidly established as the leader of unorthodox but coolly restrained groups when he enlisted pianist Paul Bley and bassist Steve Swallow in 1961. With this trio, he would take listeners into challenging terrain and offer the avant-garde a different direction--witness the 2-CD reissue 1961. Often taking its style cues from European modernism, this group mixed pointillism and atonality while moving seamlessly between composition and free improvisation. Free Fall, from 1962, was the group's ultimate recording and Giuffre's most radical statement, balancing duos and trios with unaccompanied clarinet improvisations that explored novel sounds, spontaneous structure, and uncommon brevity. Quietly revolutionary and brilliant in itself, this music was the culmination of the "Third Stream" synthesis and also paved the way for a younger generation of radicals. Today it still sounds fresh. This CD restores edited portions and adds five unissued clarinet solos that range from spiky inventions to the original lyricism of "Future Plans." -- Stuart Broomer

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By p dizzle on June 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
mr. giuffre took a hard left turn as the 1960s opened making him almost unrecognizable to his original fans (he was part of woody herman's thundering herd and has a single enshrined in the grammy hall of fame), exploring european classical structures and sound in general, much like cecil taylor, ornette coleman, and, later, john coltrane. on this record, we hear the experiment in its fullest expression: tension building silences, two and three note conversations in the trio format, angular rhythms and spiky tonalities. each piece unfolds with each note played, drawing the listener in, but it requires attention. this is not background music, this must be LISTENED to for it make its impact. mr. bley continues to reval his avant-cool expression of the '50s and '60s and the real treasure here is steve swallow-- an early example of his bass meisterwork. this is an enjoyable free jazz work with highlights being the clarinet solo pieces (ornothoids, divided man, man alone) and the long piece 'five ways'which really lets us hear the trio at work. a fascinating gem from the early free jazz period.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Derek Taylor on October 7, 1998
Format: Audio CD
This album is all the evidence necessary to secure giuffre's place as the genius who pioneered the clarinet's place as a valid free jazz voice. "FREE FALL" takes the massive advancements made by the triumvirate of giuffre, bley & swallow on earlier (& equally essential) ablums such as, "THESIS" & "FUSION" to the nth degree of creativity. Comprised of duos, trios & a multitude of sublime solo clarinet reflections this disc is a pleasure from the first plaintive strains of 'propulsion' to the closing whispers of 'let's see'...but don't take my word for it, do your ears a favor & pick-up this far-reaching slice of avant chamber jazz & see where everyone from anthony braxton to perry robinson first got their chops.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By lexo1941 on February 20, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I came to this album as a fan of free jazz (and indeed free improvisation) who was chiefly interested in Jimmy Giuffre because he'd played with Jim Hall, a mainstream jazz guitarist whose work I love. I read the back of the CD with a certain amount of surprise, as I'd never heard Giuffre's stuff and assumed on the basis of descriptions I'd read of his work that he was a fairly mainstream figure.

Imagine my surprise. 'Free Fall' is nothing less than one of the most ground-breaking and brilliant recordings in jazz, an essential counterpart to other more famous (and equally fine) contemporary ventures into pure improvisation like Ornette Coleman's 'Free Jazz' and John Coltrane's 'Ascension'. Giuffre's album sounds nothing like either of those great recordings, but it is no less intense, imaginative and ahead of its time.

The clarinet is an instrument that I normally associate with older jazz, apart of course from the bass clarinet of the late great Eric Dolphy, and Giuffre's playing here is a revelation (at least, to me). His attention to timbre and tone is acute. Some of this music reminds me (in a good way) of the chamber music of one of my favourite modern composers, Anton Webern. Paul Bley and Steve Swallow provide forward-thinking and acute accompaniment on a good number of the cuts, but I think that this is really Giuffre's record. He summons up a huge variety of moods from the humble clarinet.

This CD has changed my mental picture of the history of jazz. It ought to be on anyone's top 10 list of great avant-jazz recordings of the 60s. Not to be missed.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Robert Howard on February 24, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is one of those albums which, before you can be truly critical of it, you must understand what it is.
This album was made with the understanding that some, indeed maybe large chunks, may not "work", or that it may only appeal or connect with small numbers of people. When reviewed with this understanding in mind I must give it 4 stars; the album is a unique direction in free jazz; the jazz rhythm section was very much still a part of free jazz at this point and the idea of taking more of a "Euro" approach, with a chamber "ensemble" idea (and henceforth removing the pulsating drums), is an interesting one.
It has always been easy for me to detect whether free music is just self indulgent junk or intelligently crafted sound sculpture, and this one is firmly in the latter category. In the lp notes, Swallow discusses the long rehearsals and the intensity of them. You can hear the results of this hard work in the album.
However this album stops just short of total perfection for my taste; I think that the group should have been exploited far more; "The Five Ways" works so much better than the solo clarinet improvisations; the solo things are fine, but the balance between those and the ensemble numbers are not quite where they should be.
However, this sort of problem always exists with records that try to reinvent the musical wheel, so this is certainly forgiveable; had the group stayed on longer in the sixties they probably would have had records that would develop on what worked so well on Free Fall.
Still, this album is a classic; as a composer and guitarist there is much for me to learn from Giuffre's unique approach.
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