Prior to the release of "TIGHTROPE" and before going in to record "THE BLUE MAN," I had a most difficult decision to make. Bob James was about to leave Columbia proper and launch a subsidiary label of his own, Tappan Zee Records. I was offered the choice of staying with the 'big' label or moving on with Bob. Though I chose to stay with Columbia, Bob was incredibly generous and supportive, and helped get me the chance to produce "THE BLUE MAN" myself. For this, and many other reasons, I remain eternally grateful to Bob James. In concept, the recording was to continue in the direction established by "TIGHTROPE" with the small difference of featuring only original compositions. I'm not exactly certain why it is, but for some reason, THIS is the recording most musicians seem to recall and revere from this period. Highlights for me include: Steve Gadd's drumming on "Daily Bulls" and his solo during the ride-out of "An Eye Over Autumn"(I remember Rick Marotta's expression of disbelief listening to the playback, then looking over to Steve and saying, with great love of course, "I hate you!"); Michael Brecker's playing on "An Eye Over Autumn"; Don Grolnick's organ solo on "Daily Bulls"; Randy Brecker's incredible tune, "The Little Ones"; Dave Sanborn's solo on "The Little Ones"; the accompaniment of Don Grolnick and the bass work of Will Lee throughout. It's hard for me to assess just how well this recording holds-up, but, I do feel that "An Eye Over Autumn" is one of my best compositions and the horn section work remains fantastic.
Photo: Steve w/ The Brecker Bros. in Central Park(June '75)
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