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There's a fashion on many contemporary jazz recordings, in which the players are variously combined for each track: all on some tracks, just a few on others, perhaps just one or two on the rest, and no grouping the same. While Chaosfollows this formula, the results have a consistency which is often lacking in straight-ahead releases thus assembled. The explorations of Bley, Di Castri and Oxley are so strong on their solo tracks that when they play together, they strike sparks off each other.
Oxley is an extraordinarily melodic drummer, getting a phenomenal range of sounds from his kit, and his solos are continuously surprising. Di Castri's rich bass sound and spacious melodic sense brings a meditative quality to the recording during his solos. Bley's imaginatively dissonant playing, by turns lyrical or aggressive, relaxed or pushing, provides the binding that pulls the group together. There are plenty of interesting harmonies here, and a sense of rhythm which both includes and goes beyond the tyranny of the beat. Fans of Paul Bley or post-bop music in general will have a treat with this beautifully produced recording.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.