There’s fire and ice in the improvised music of Third Reel, making their ECM debut with this new disc. The trio of reeds, guitar and drums create soundscapes ranging from the ethereal to the explosive, but with an overall sense of musical unity. [...] It is Pianca’s guitar which sets the tone for each piece – on some tracks he is in full, rip-snorting Hendrix mode and on others he plays more melodically with a straightforward sound. Strong musical imaginations are at work here, and it’s a very promising debut.
John Watson, JazzCamera.co.uk
Thoughout this impressive disc there is no sense of any one of the members stepping forward as nominal leader, but instead they treat the group and their role within as working as a single entity to bring each piece to its satisfactory conclusion. [...] Two apparently conflicting methods, free improvisation and composed pieces, are artfully packaged in an album that combines a unity of purpose and a distinct group and direction in this dynamically charged release.
Nick Lea, Jazz Views
There's no denying the influence of Motian on Italian-born, Denmark-based drummer Emanuele Maniscalco, who demonstrates a similar penchant for texture over time, even when driving jagged pieces like ‘Freeze’ with near-primal, mallet-driven toms. Representing the final piece in Third Reel's nascency puzzle, Maniscalco joined Swiss saxophonist/clarinetist Masson and Italian guitarist Roberto Pianca in 2010, after—in true 21st century fashion—the two met via social networking, trying out a number of other drummers, unsuccessfully. [...] Rather than being imitative, Third Reel expands and expounds upon the free-spirited aesthetic of the late Paul Motian's trio, injecting clear and unequivocal differentiation, especially in the writing. Masson's ‘Orbits’ may hover ethereally in a very Motian fashion, while its melody floats over Maniscalco's turbulence and Pianca's jaggedly overdriven guitar (speaking to Frisell's more aggressive edge), but amongst these 16 written and spontaneously composed miniatures—eleven well under four minutes, and only one cracking the six-minute mark)—Third Reel goes places that Motian, Frisell and Lovano never did. Masson's ‘Miserere’, comes from a more classical space, with Maniscalco's malleted toms creating a soft pulse for Pianca's warm-toned arpeggios and Masson's oblique clarinet lines. The same applies to at least part of the reed player's ‘Ginkgo’, Pianca's more fervently finger-picked support following an intro of swelled chords that lead to a brief, brushed drum solo of refined delicacy.
John Kelman, AllAboutJazz