This matchup was certainly an unlikely one. The innovative avant-garde guitarist Derek Bailey and the popular and influential Pat Metheny were probably not automatically destined to collaborate. But at the Knitting Factory for a few nights in December 1996 with both Gregg Bendian and Paul Wertico on drums and percussion, Bailey and Metheny joined as one titanic force. It was not a matter of meeting halfway; instead, Metheny willingly played Bailey's free-form music on its own terms. The problem with the results, which have been released as a low-priced three-CD set, is that the music is unremittingly intense, and even during the rare quiet moments, there is little sign of development. Essentially a series of sound explorations with no real beginning or end, the 3 hours and 13 minutes are dominated by noise, dense ensembles and feedback. In other words, this is a real bore for jazz purists.