Chamber music of the highest order, 'The Bell' (ECM) starts out with exactly that. Recorded in New York City, drummer Ches Smith performs on timpani and vibraphone before he ever even hits the skins. The esoteric, atmospheric 9:29 title tune melts into "Barely Intervallic" where Craig Taborn on piano and Matt Maneri on viola(!) serve as the most laid-back front line you're ever likely to hear. But wait.