Chris McCann&Billy Pierce first began working with each other in 1991. Over the years, with a week here, a concert there, they have developed a trusting, personal, and professional relationship. Steve Wallace first began working with Chris McCann in 1994 and may be best known to the Jazz world at large for his work on a number of recordings with people such as Rob McConnell's Boss Brass, Ed Bickert, Scott Hamilton and Rosemary Clooney.
When this project was first suggested to me I was ambivalent. I had seen Billy Pierce live on occasion and was always impressed. I was familiar with his work with some of the great drummers of our time, in particular Art Blakey, Tony Williams and Max Roach. On the other hand I felt that his own recordings seemed to hold back a bit and that there was more from this fine saxman to turn loose. I knew Chris McCann from a series of recordings he led for Unity Records. So I suggested we make the date either a duosax and drumsor a trio with bass. My thinking was: I knew Chris, Chris knew Billy, and Billy knew drummers, and the combination might be conducive to some creative stretching. We scheduled this recording session to immediately follow some concerts the group would be doing in Canada.
The group opened with "Village Greene" and it was apparent to me from the tone set that stretching was indeed on the agenda. I am also particularly pleased by the choice of compositions. Distinctive compositions all, only "Epistrophy" has had wide exposure and here Billy Pierce breaks it open after the theme. I believe this is a watermark date for both co-leaders of this session. It's certainly a date to which I'd point with pride. Froggin' around indeed!
Robert D. Rusch