In Memoriam: Jimmy Giuffre (1921-2008)
The main thing I got from Jimmy was a sense of purity and truth. We were beginning a rehearsal and I was tuning my bass. This was at the very beginning for me (1980-ish) since it was my upright bass, which I only played with him a year or so at the beginning and then again some at the end. Jimmy says to me, "What are you doing?" I said "I'm tuning up." Then Jimmy said, "Well it doesn't sound like music. Don't ever touch your instrument unless you intend to make music." I got his point, and I agree with him, that it is too easy to get in the habit of taking the easy way with music and just fooling around. Don't ever take music for granted. He didn't want anything to be habitual, not vibrato, not anything.
BOB NIESKE, Bassist
I first met Jimmy Giuffre in New York in 1970; I was working with Sheila Jordan at the time. Jimmy expressed an interest in trying drums after so many years and she told him about me. He invited me to his homewe played a blues, then he gave me a part to read and said I was hired. We did two records in the '70s (with bassist Kiyoshi Tokunaga). Jimmy had a vision for this music as he always did, then in the '80s Jimmy had yet another visionelectricwhich took his writing to another place. Jimmy found Bob Nieske and Pete Levin; it was magical. We called ourselves an eating band. Jimmy was my mentor, my friend and my hero. All the best Tex.
RANDY KAYE, Drummer