Recordings such as this are valuable in that they demonstrate just how successfully and rapidly a new music is being synthesized from the innovations of the avant garde and the traditional jazz structures and procedures. The playing here is ordered and controlled by a recognizable and easily followed formal design which may vary from composition to composition (in contradistinction to the more or less highly formalized harmonic structures of post-hop). As these performances reveal, Carl Rigoli and his jazz quintet want freedom within discipline (is it meaningful any other way?) but do not want the music to be stifled or constricted by an over dependence, be they harmonic or metric. The ideal would appear to be total group interaction within clearly defined (and somewhat flexible), simple, but thematically challenging forms so that the players would never settle into the rut of merely playing on patterns. There is, however, much of the listener to marvel at in these fourteen performances.
It is a fascinating and illuminating experience simply to follow the remarkably sensitive, inventive interplay of the quintet, for its commitment to real collective playing is fully successful as it is total. And listen especially to Rigoli. This two record set is available on the Carmelo recordings.