Ornette coleman's tenure on Atlantic produced six studio albums released while he was signed to the label, but he was so prolific that three more albums worth of tracks were released after he left the label, and when his music was put into a boxed set ("Beauty is a Rare Thing"), another half dozen performances never before released were included. Still, as one would suspect, there's some quality issues with these "leftovers". Or at least, there are with the ones found in other places, "The Art of Improvisers" features material that is essential to Coleman's catalog.
Taking material from the first session he did with Atlantic to the last, this in many ways represents Coleman's music better than anything else. From breakneck performances with totally stunning virtuosity ("The Alchemy of Scott LaFaro" featuring the bassist and drummer Ed Blackwell in stunning fashion beneath a furious solo from Coleman) to balladry (the beautiful "Just For You", later rerecorded on "Love Call" and featuring some of Coleman's trademark humanistic cries) to just fantastic ("The Circle With the Hole in the Middle"). It doesn't hang together quite as cohesively as some of his albums that were drawn from one period, primarily because of the inconsistent performers, but there's an awful lot of good on here.
I think this album is often overlooked because it is a collection of leftovers, but these are god ones, it's not "The Shape of Jazz to Come", but its really quite good. Recommended.