Known for his exceptional virtuosity as well as his amazing use of multiphonics, Albert Mangelsdorff has long been acknowledged as one of the most innovative trombonists in modern jazz. On this exceptional 1977 MPS release he joins up with three players who coincidentally made up one of the most influential avant-garde trios of that time, The Trio, formed in 1969 by English multi-saxophonist John Surman and two American expatriates, bassist Barre Phillips and drummer Stu Martin. Surman has been associated with the legendary record label ECM for over three decades, Phillips has worked with such greats as Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp, and Martin worked with such diverse stylists as Maynard Ferguson and Herbie Hancock. The pieces are group compositions-as-improvisation and vise-versa. The impressionistic musings of A Matter of Taste, the surreal tumult of Old Love Never Rusts, followed by the orchestral country timbre of Amber/Electric Waltz show off the quartet’s astounding harmonic richness. Sparrow Knows emerges as up-tempo 6/8 ‘new folk’ before turning into free-wheeling, blistering swing, and the The Strange Tale of Mr. Misster, recites a multi-faceted modal story. Martin’s ingenious drum solo introduces But the Accordian Stays, another piece with folk roots that branches out into intense free play before ending in a haunting melody. An incredible album, and one of the best examples of how, when played at the highest levels, composition and group improvisation intertwine.