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February 2009

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Venue:
Philadelphia Art Alliance251 S. 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $10 General Admission
Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 8:00pm

The Chance Trio performs Jimmy Giuffre's Western Suite

Bart Miltenberger, trumpet + flugelhorn
Matt Davis , guitar
Michael Taylor, double-bass

This event will also feature a public discussion with University of Pennsylvania professor and composer Jay Reise, who began his composition studies with Jimmy Giuffre.

"An unusual and striking trio" (Philadelphia Inquirer), The Chance Trio is a one-of-a-kind Philadelphia-based, drummerless, chamber-jazz trio.  Founded in 2001 by Bart Miltenberger, Matt Davis and Michael Taylor, The Chance Trio has performed their adventurous, passionate, and humorous original compositions all over the Philadelphia area including concerts at the Kimmel Center, the Painted Bride, World Cafe Live, Ortlieb's Jazzhaus, Tritone, and energizing showcases at the 3rd and 4th Collective Voices Festivals, and a long-standing residency at The Highwire Gallery.  Influenced by jazz, blues, folk, rock, and avant-garde, The Chance Trio was a featured performer at the 2006 Festival of New Trumpet Music curated by Dave Douglas.

In late 1957, jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, composer, and iconoclast Jimmy Giuffre broke up the original Jimmy Giuffre 3 with Ralph Pena and Jim Hall. In early 1958, for a recording session, he formed a new trio without a rhythm section which included Hall on guitar and the underrated trombone giant Bob Brookmeyer. They became a trio of adventurous musicians for whom form was not an obstacle to creativity. As the year wound down, Giuffre wanted to document the trio, sensing its life was coming to an end. He composed the four-movement "Western Suite" with the trio's strengths in mind. The piece itself stands as a crowning achievement in a career that included discovering the talents of Steve Swallow and Paul Bley and making the truly revolutionary recording Free Fall (Columbia) three years later.

Giuffre, ever the storyteller, advanced the improvisation angle and wrote his score so that each player had to stand on his own as part of the group and there were no comfort zones. Without a rhythm section, notions of interval, extensions, interludes, and so on were out the window. He himself played some of his most retrained yet adventurous solos in the confines of this trio and within the form of this suite. It swung like West Coast jazz, but felt as ambitious as Copland's Billy the Kid. The record is filled out with two other tunes, one of Eddie Durham's, "Topsy," and the final moment of mastery this band ever recorded, the already classic "Blue Monk."

A Professor of Music Composition at the University of Pennsylvania, Jay Reise spent his childhood surrounded by classical music and jazz but began his composition studies with Jimmy Giuffre and Hugh Hartwell in 1970. After graduating Hamilton College in 1972, Reise pursued composition study at McGill University (with Bengt Hambraeus and Bruce Mather), the University of Pennsylvania (AM, 1975;  with George Crumb and Richard Wernick), Tanglewood, and Carnatic rhythm with Adrian L'Armand. A composer of all genres, Reise is the recipient of many commissions, prizes and fellowships including the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Koussevitzky Tanglewood prize in Composition. His music has been performed widely both in the United States and abroad including all-Reise retrospective concerts in Moscow and Philadelphia. His chamber concerto Chesapeake Rhythms and Concerto for Cello and 13 Instruments are recorded on CRI by Orchestra 2001. A recording of piano and chamber works, Rhythmic Garlands, is available on Centaur 2598. The Devil in the Flesh and Other Pieces (Albany TROY 665) features world-renowned virtuoso pianist Marc-André Hamelin.