A master of Eastern double-reed instruments for years, jazz composer/author Bill Cole first came onto the scene in the '60s. Known for his books on Miles Davis and John Coltrane as well, Cole got his first real exposure on album as a part of Jayne Cortez's band in the late '70s. The occasional appearance on record marked the time when he wasn't on the road playing or writing, but by the late '90s the temptation to start his own group became too great and Bill Cole's Untempered Ensemble was born. A band built on improvisation and the various instruments Cole would utilize, they began releasing their unique live improvisations in 1999 with Live in Greenfield, Massachusetts, November 20, 1999. From there, several other live albums including a collection of duets and more ensemble performances were released.