Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. It’s clear that chemistry was in the air.
  2. In just under 40 minutes, Hebden and Reid offer one of the most thrilling documents of real-time improvisation you’re likely to hear this year.
  3. This CD is in itself a bold challenge to producers everywhere to step out from behind the laptop and explore the creative, spontaneous elements of live interaction.
  4. Like all free jazz albums, The Exchange Session, Vol. 1 should be approached with caution. It’s a great night-driving companion and opens up to the patient listener willing to give it more than one chance.
  5. This volume is a success and points the way toward new and compelling -- if still amorphous -- territory between rhythmic and electronic improvisation.
  6. The artists seem to have brought the best out of each other, and the result is much better than just hearing them go through the motions.
  7. Q Magazine
    Genuinely ear-popping... utterly mesmeric. [Apr 2006, p.119]
  8. In general-- and despite passages of extreme beauty-- something seems amiss on Exchange Session.
  9. The album achieves a great deal of its success from the relaxed collaboration, but it does suffer from it, as well. Reid and Hebden interact so casually that they don't find the friction to really propel great improvisational music.
  10. There are moments where the two seem to sync up nicely and really unveil something beautiful and unique, but there are far too many other passages where the pairing doesn't quite seem to fully jel.
  11. Uncut
    Part inspired, part impenetrable. [Mar 2006, p.104]
  12. The record doesn’t sound much like a free improv session, but it retains the crucial dynamic of starting from zero and seeing where it goes, and there’s enough going on here to make me curious where they’ll go next.
  13. Mojo
    Occasionally self-indulgence threatens, but no matter; there is an undeniable musical hunger and pioneering spirit at work here. [Apr 2006, p.101]
  14. Together, Reid and Hebden weave engaging tales without ever managing the transcendent spontaneity these kinds of collaborations sell themselves on.
  15. The formula established in track one is repeated in the combined half hour of the other two tracks here to less devastating effect.
  16. Under The Radar
    If you're really into jazz (and I mean really) or are a Four Tet completist, this is for you; if not, I'd stay away. [#13, p.92]
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 3 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 1 out of 1
  1. dmitryder
    Mar 6, 2007
    stupid shit