“I had made my first sort of standards record a few years earlier [2003’s But Beautiful], and I wanted to take the next step with that music. I was interested in enhancing the instrumentation, and I wanted to work with a string quartet, flutes and some baritone and bass clarinets.
“By chance, I was passing by the Blue Note jazz club one night with my son, and I heard this music coming out of the place. It was just what I wanted to do, sort of Gil Evans-ish arrangements with vibes and percussion. I went into the club, and as it turned out, a few friends of mine were on the set that night. One of them was an arranger named Gil Goldstein.
“Gil and I got to talking, and that led to us trying out a few songs together, which led to this second standards record. Gil and I, over a period of a year and a half, collaborated between New York and San Francisco. We finally arrived at the material, and then Gil took it back and arranged it. We brought it back to San Francisco to work on it with the rhythm section, and later to New York to overdub the string quartet and the horns and so on. It was kind of a dream come true to get some of that music fleshed out. It’s beautiful material, and we put our own stamp on it.”