Pat Metheny, Dave Holland and Roy Haynes, Question and Answer (Geffen 9-24293-2). Terrific. Once every five years or so, Pat Metheny temporarily halts all his singsong mid-American anthemizing and dittying, rears back and makes a tail-kicking jazz record, just to remind the jazz world what he can do. He did it with his "8 0/8 1" band and with Ornette Coleman on "Song X." And now, on this simple trio record, he joins bassist Dave Holland and the diminutive patriarch of jazz's tumultuous, triplet-tossing polyrhythmic drumming Roy Haynes. No doubt Metheny learned awe of Haynes early when he was a student at Berklee in Boston. This is pure post-bop -- a Miles Davis tune, an Ornette Coleman tune, "All the Things You Are," "Old Folks" and a passel of Metheny originals a la mode. A bit more might have been done to give Haynes' drums a deeper and less crisp sound, but what he does for the young guitarist is liberate the hedonistic swinger in him. -- J.S.
Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, The Complete Sessions (Roulette CDP-798442) "Very few people," says liner notater Stanley Dance, "would disagree with the proposition that Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington were the two greatest musicians in the whole history of jazz." And there is no other disc quite like this 1961 collaboration of titans for Roulette, a label too weak and short-lived to ensure its continual availability. That Capitol is now bringing them back revives this precious disc, with its Ellingtonian repertoire, rare Armstrong muted trumpet on "Mood Indigo" and not-so-rare (but wonderful) Armstrong vocals. No small thing, too, is the presence of old Ellingtonian Barney Bigard.-- J. S.