Down Beat - 6/93, p.484 Stars
- Very Good - "...Compared to the previous year's ESP date, it is the calm after the storm, highlighting Bley's oblique lyricism, as well as his will-to-wail. Those twin attributes have stood Bley in good artistic stead over the years..."
Paul Bley Trio: Paul Bley (piano); Steve Swallow (bass); Barry Altschul (drums).
Recorded in New York, New York on December 12, 1965.
Paul Bley: Paul Bley (piano); Steve Swallow (bass instrument); Barry Altschul (drums, percussion).
Audio Remasterers: Douglas McGregor; Frans de Rond.
Recording information: RLA Studios, New York, NY (05/20/1965-12/18/1965).
Author: Bernard Stollman.
If the strident experimentation of free-jazz pioneers such as Cecil Taylor and Albert Ayler railed against conventional ideas of chord voicing and fixed rhythmic accompaniment, pianist Paul Bley took a decidedly more understated approach to musical innovation. Bley's classic 1966 trio album for ESP-Disk, CLOSER, is a study in restraint. Moving confidently from melodic lyricism to explosive bursts of tone color, Bley and his compatriots--drummer Barry Altschul and bassist Steve Swallow--strike a pleasing balance between order and chaos, creating music as evocative as it is challenging.