(2-CD set) Pakt recalls the fearless attitude and daring approach that originally defined progressive music: where the magic of the moment always triumphed over preconception. Templates be damned... this music blazes it's own path! This is truly exquisite fare, serving as a reminder to aficionados of what initially drew them to this most creative, visionary of genres. Pakt is made up of fretless bass guitarist Percy Jones, guitarists Alex Skolnick and Tim Motzer, and drummer Kenny Grohowski. They are all very experienced players. Skolnick is best known as the lead guitarist in the thrash metal band Testament; he went on to freelance work, playing jazz with his Alex Skolnick Trio, and experimenting with World Music. Motzer has a long background in free improvisation as well, including the bands Bandit65 (with fellow guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel) and Orion Tango, plus many other recorded collaborations for his 1k Recordings label. Welsh bassist Jones (long time a New York resident) is known for his tenure in the jazz fusion group Brand X, collaborations with Suzanne Vega, as well as extensive studio work (especially with Brian Eno). Grohowski's recent associations include Imperial Triumphant, John Zorn, Brand X, Felix Pastorius & the Hipster Assassins.