"The band's debut performance at the Royal Roost received positive, but reserved reactions.
Count Basie, the Roost's headliner during the Nonet's brief tenure, however, was more open to the group's sound, saying, "Those slow things sounded strange and good. I didn't always know what they were doing, but I listened, and I liked it."
Winthrop Sargeant, classical music critic at The New Yorker, compared the band's sound to the work of an "impressionist composer with a great sense of aural poetry and a very fastidious feeling for tone color. . . The music sounds more like that of a new Maurice Ravel than it does like jazz . . . it is not really jazz."
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