Here you have three absolutely breathtaking jazz performers locked into a studio for a day or so. From this combination of guitar, standup bass, and acoustic drum kit, you've got nine tracks of sheer jazz joy -- three guys just blowing for the hell of it, recorded on the fly.
There's a strong sense here that engineer Rob Eaton probably tried to get everybody properly set up and balanced before the session started and just gave up when everybody started playing. It's a delight to hear, because everything has gone into the performance, which is spontaneous and graceful -- no going back for the next take here. Pat Metheny's playing is definitely modernistic, highly fluid, almost liquid lightning -- no effects boxes here, though (he does play Synclavier on the last track, "Three Flights Up," but it's great anyway). Roy Haynes, likewise, should be heard by anybody wanting to get behind the traps: this man has a sense of humor, and he's a blur of motion. Dave Holland, on bass, is no slouch either, keeping pace with Metheny's guitar lines, and balancing up against Haynes' drums.
Together, these guys are incredible. They get into both original material and standards (including an ecstatic version of Miles Davis' "Solar" that opens the album) with the same energy and feel for what they're doing. This is an album with serious crossover potential, and it should definitely be heard by anyone serious about music in any way.
Steven McDonald ~ AllMusicGuide
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