It's always wonderful to run across a long-forgotten treasure. This live recording of Garbarek (saxophone), Gismonti (guitars & piano) and Haden (bass) was made in 1981, after two studio recordings by the trio, but not released until late 2012. The group manages a precarious balancing act, skillfully navigating folk, jazz and avant-garde stylings. This isn't in-your-face "blowing." There's lots of space, often only two instruments being played together at a time, but it's always engaging. Gismonti's guitar work is haunting and ethereal, his piano soulful. Garbarek plays with his trademark icy tone that just grabs you right away, while Haden's bass rewards deeper listening. For me, the high point is Haden's composition "All That is Beautiful." It's intensely lyrical at the start (it reminds me of some Keith Jarrett
songs), and then the ensemble starts exploring, until it sounds like contemporary classical music...only to bring it all back together at the end. Since this is an ECM
release, you get the clarity that is a hallmark of Manfred Eicher's productions. A great listen.