Jazz Album of the Year, 1995 – Downbeat Magazine.
his double CD features two distinct quartets recorded live at the Village Vanguard, ten months apart. The group with Tom was one of my most creative, and it exemplified the concistency and conception of improvisation that happens when a group is very free, but structured was well.
The Quartet with Mulgrew was more traditional, drawing on a repetoire of famous music, except for Sounds of Joy, which I wrote to play with Blackwell.
We played that tune with more traditional harmonies here. This quartet reaches some beautiful heights in the classic tradition of swing and modern jazz.
During this period, the early 90s, I had four working groups: The Trio, the Sounds of Joy Trio, the Quartet with Tom, with no piano, and the Quartet with Mulgrew. These were the sounds in my life, what I was playing, what was evolving from my life. It was the intimacy of the trio and all of these different elements that make it happen.
This was originally just supposed to be one CD. Thanks to Bruce Lundvall and Michael Cuscuna, who were instrumental in the idea and execution of this double CD.