A NOTE FROM LESLIE Had the title not already been taken by the poet Robert Frost for one of his poems, I might have wished to name this CD "A Winter Eden." I'm one of the few people I know whose spirits begin to rise in late autumn, as the days become progressively colder, shorter, bleaker; this past February (when the recording took place) was particularly cold, overcast and snowy, so right up my alley.
An added plus, and more important of course, was the extraordinary warmth and generosity (not to mention the superb musicianship) of all of the band members. With that in mind, I settled on the name "In The Nature Of Things" to reflect the feeling I had that all of the musicians on this date honored the fundamental intent and "nature" of the music, as I had conceived it.
That said, this recording also made me aware — more than ever — that every performance is a translation of the composer's original conception. What great good luck to live in a city where I've been able to meet and play with such creative, responsive musicians, who consistently bring so much to the table. They "grew" the music in ways I hadn't always anticipated, which in turn allowed me to experience the original feelings that inspired this music in a different way. As both player and composer, I loved being part of that process, and count it as one of the highlights of my life.
Heartfelt thanks to musicians Steve Wilson, Ron Horton, Scott Hardy, Michael Sarin and Satoshi Takeishi for their fiercely committed and nuanced performances, and for the wide range of feeling they brought to the material. Special thanks also to Scott Hardy for the wonderfully inventive counter-melodies of his horn arrangements. Finally, many thanks to our recording engineer A. T. Michael MacDonald for, once again, capturing the sound so very beautifully.