This recording is also available in Hybrid SACD (AKD 196).
This recording has taken a few years to reach fruition in that most of the material has been waiting for someone to say "yes" to record it.
The range of musicians came about as a result of who I thought best suited the mood of each piece. I consider myself very fortunate in that I was able to have my first choice of performer on each instrument and they interpreted all my arrangements so well.
Gone from Porgy and Bess is something I always wanted a stab at so I pared down the Gil Evans arrangement to six voices as a showcase for these superb musicians. Lounge Blues is a tune I wrote some years ago and is in memory of a watering hole I discovered in Melbourne. Giant Steps is a trio track and really displays the staggering talent of Gareth Williams. This is his arrangement. Melancholia is my tribute to Duke Ellington. i transcribed it some years ago and only now feel confident enough to perform it on a recording! Boaz started life in the wee small hours on my keyboard and is quite a diversion from the other tracks. I can't think of any other musicians I'd rather have playing it than Nigel Hitchcock and Laurence Cottle. The use of a string quartet is something I;d always been keen to take advantage of, having worked with the Locrian String Quartet on previous occasions, both live and in the studio. They appear on five tracks, four of which (Black Coffee, Sunshower, Ugly Beauty and The Peacocks) had already been performed in a different context. The fifth, Stability, was specially written for this album along with Christine Tobin's original lyrics.
Clark Tracey - drums, piano, vocals with Andy Sheppard - tenor sax Tommy Smith tenor sax
Tim Garland - tenor sax
Iain Ballamy - soprano sax
Nigel Hitchcock - alto sax, programming
Guy Barker - trumpet
Christine Tobin - vocals
Gareth Williams - piano
Arnie Somogyi - bass
Laurence Cottle - bass
Locrian String Quartet
Yuri Zhislin - violin 1
Jonathan Morton - violin 2
Levine Andrade - viola
Ben Lasserson - cello
Recorded at RG Jones studios on 18-20 December 2000