By the time I had finished producing Odean Pope's CIMP recording (#124) on August 14, 1996, we had completed over 30 recordings in about six months and I (along with other members of the CIMP Crew) was feeling a bit overwhelmed. I promised myself and others that there would be no more sessions until October.
Joe McPhee is a multi-instrumentalist: soprano and tenor sax and pocket trumpet being his primary horns. My initial attraction to Joe's work, when I first encountered him in the early 70s, was to his tenor sax playing, as exhibited on his first recordings on the CJR label, and then later on his Variations On a Blue Line on Hat Hut, a record I listed in one record poll as one of the ten best records made between 1976 and 1985.
I first recorded Joe when he was a guest at the Evan Parker - Barry Guy - Paul Lytton session (CIMP 101) and then later on a series of records with Frank Lowe, David Prentice and Charles Moffett (CIMP #s 115, 120, and 132), records which tended to feature his trumpet and soprano work.
My association with Michael Bisio's music came about in 1983 when he self-produced a remarkable record on C.T. Records, a record I listed as one of the best recordings of 1983. Later, Michael appeared on recordings by Bob Nell and Barbara Donald, which I produced for the Cadence Jazz Records label in the `80s. Recently, Michael produced a recording of an exceptionally strong outing of his quintet, which was released on Cadence Jazz Records (CJR 1063).
I mention this all as background to explain why, when Joe called me up and suggested a tenor-bass duet recording with Michael for mid-September, I threw fatigue and time constraints to the wind and enthusiastically agreed to produce the date.
This is Michael's first duo recording and it features his bass playing as never before. And this is Joe's first exclusively-tenor sax recording in twenty years. For those who share my enthusiasm for these two artists, this recording has at least made the wait worth enduring. May we all have the opportunity to reunite and share this experience again in 2016. This rejuvenated my spirit; I can always catch up on my sleep.
The music appears in the same order it was played, with the exception of the second take of Lonely Women, which was originally played after the first take.
Robert D. Rusch