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.
This CD contains some interesting material not found elsewhere. Recorded live at Palace of Festivals Theatre in Cannes, France in January 1981 and January 1983, the disc features Metheny, Gary Burton, the Heath Brothers, Ahmad Jamal, and the Hum Trio. It is very hard to find and available only on the Fruit Tree (Italy) label (1999). Highly recommended, this CD will be irrestible to fans of quartet-format jazz or any of the artists, who seem to have been captured at their best.