Ornette Coleman's decision to temporarily retire from music (this ESP disc was his only recording from a four-year period) was unfortunate. His alto playing was getting stronger, and on evidence of this CD, he had plenty of original ideas that should have been documented. For this Town Hall concert, Coleman debuts with his new trio (a unit that would return in 1965) featuring the remarkable bassist David Izenson and drummer Charles Moffett. Together they perform "Doughnut," "Sadness," and an extensive 23-and-a-half minute version of "The Ark." In addition, a string quartet performs Colemans' "Dedication to Poets and Writers." Although Ornette's string writing (which leaves no room for improvising) is pretty well outside of jazz, his playing on the other tracks holds one's interest throughout.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow