This was to be my last recording for Hiroshi Itsuno and Polydor K.K. of Japan. Hiroshi felt it best that I return to the Eyewitness format, but that perhaps I might add a horn. So, it didn't take long to suggest and agree upon my old and dear friend, Michael Brecker. The material, though still fundamentally a selection of "odd-ball" standards from the mid-'60s, would have a decided Latin flavor to it and everything was geared to that direction. One of the nicest additional elements was the presence of engineer James Farber, another good friend, who lent his very special talents and sound design ideas to make this, perhaps, my favorite sounding recording. As an audio nut, even I have to say, the sound of this recording is awesome! If I were forced to single out one moment, it would be the 'fade' of "I Love Paris" where we fall into a 'free' montuno(of sorts) and as I hold down the harmonic 'center,' Anthony explores some of the most fantastic places. Places which it seems only he hears....and, at moments like that too! While I'm playing a simple Cm7 chord, one can hear lots of Dbs and B-naturals in the bass, not exactly what one would expect! The group interplay on Monk's "Think of One" is very special to me, as is our performance of my father's tune, "It's You or No One." Again, it's a testament to the subtlety Dennis Chambers is capable of, his brushwork is stupendous! Manolo's spatial sounds in the 'fade' reminded us instantly of the earlier Eyewitness recordings, and smiles appeared all around! Obviously, all three Michael Brecker solos are tremendous, that goes without saying. On balance, this is one our best recordings. I used to get asked all the time by young musicians, "What are the 'changes' to some of the Eyewitness tunes?" I was always a little embarrassed to say, "well, there really aren't any! I could tell you where we 'start'(the jumping-off point), and I could tell you the 'cue' that will bring us to the next composed section, but that's about all there is." Though I can't recall just which one of my heroes said this, I remember reading the following, "If you can take a 'free' piece of music and make it sound like there are changes; and if you can take a 'standard' and make it sound like it's a 'free' piece of music, then perhaps you have something great going on!" "CROSSINGS" demonstrates that this group can take music with traditional forms and changes and apply the same "group-think" to achieve equally satisfying results. I'm very proud that I was one part of this group.
Graphic: Anthony Jackson, Dennis Chambers & Steve from a special European Tour Poster - by Ned Shaw