LIVE AT SWEET BASIL was recorded three years after The Paul Bley Group's HOT album. Both albums document live performances in New York City and have identical instrumentation, though the only member (besides Bley) constant in both lineups is drummer Barry Altschul. The guitarist for LIVE AT SWEET BASIL is John Abercrombie and the bass player is Red Mitchell.
The group again visits Ornette Coleman's "When Will the Blues Leave," and outside of one of the pianist's originals, the set focuses on standards--"My Old Flame," "My Foolish Heart," and "Lover Man." The last of these is a particularly gorgeous rendition that Bley starts alone as a slowly unfolding set of improvisations, before being joined by the rest of the ensemble.