Paul Bley/Gary Peacock/Paul Motian: Not Two, Not One
There's a general brooding and dark character to much of the music here, with the first three tracks finding Bley experimenting with the extreme low register of the studio's Bosendorfer grand. Peacock and Motian skirt in and out of Bley's rugged explorations for what could serve as an excellent soundtrack for a piece of film noire. It's not until the fourth cut, a remake of Bley's "Fig Foot," that we get to hear the trio "swing" in any kind of conventional sense. More introspective ruminations follow, highlighted by the ballad "Noosphere," which shows off Bley's more lyrical and romantic side.
As an extension of the kinds of rhythmic innovations that Bill Evans was working towards (i.e. less implicit stating of the beat and more interactive statements from the bass and drums), this set is a complete success. Not Two, Not One is a formidable and uncompromising listen that demands your time and attention; background music it is not. Bley will not get rich or gain a large audience through this idiosyncratic mode of expression, but he's to be lauded for his efforts at pushing the envelope in a way that doesn't suggest chaos or anger.
Track Listing: Not Zero: In Three Parts, Entelechy, Now, Fig Foot, Vocal Tracked, Intente, Noosphere, Set Up Set, Dialogue Amour, Don't You Know, Not Zero: In One (62:37)
Personnel: Paul Bley- piano, Gary Peacock- bass, Paul Motian- drums
Record Label: ECM Records