With the addition, in 1957, of vibist Dave Pike to what used to be a trio, the 24-year-old Canadian pianist, Paul Bley, formed the exciting quartet that recorded this excellent album, titled “Solemn Meditation” (1957), for Gene Norman.
Pike had a passion and jazz feeling that fired the band, and the contrast with Bley’s angular, two-handed approach and time, more subtly pulsing than overtly driving, worked. Drummer McBrowne remained the guts of the group, driving his colleagues with intelligence and imagination, while Charlie Haden was a constantly growing bass player in close rapport with his teammate, and a reliable timekeeper. Although they lasted less than a year together, they played the kind of uncompromising jazz that graces this session.
As a related bonus to the Bley album, the first album by The Jazz Couriers (1956) led by Dave Pike is included in its entirety - also featuring Eugene Russell (p), John Goodman (b) and Reed Vaughan (d).