At age 54, Elliott Murphy has been recording albums of his original compositions regularly for 30 years, and unlike some musicians who have been at it that long (such as Neil Young, whose raucous, Crazy Horse-style guitar playing is echoed on this album's leadoff track and whose After the Gold Rush ballad "Birds" is covered under the title "Bird"), he hasn't changed much about his musical or lyrical approach in that time. The Elliott Murphy of 2003 is not very different from the Elliott Murphy of 1973. He still writes semi-autobiographical songs full of poetic imagery and literary references (The Great Gatsby and Samuel Beckett are favorites), and he still sets them to folk-rock arrangements that call to mind Bob Dylan.
Mathematics and the various sciences are just ordered ways of looking at and analyzing all of the raw data supplied by the universe. It's all about mappings and correspondences. At the same time, my work often takes a speculative and irrational/intuitive approach. It includes both the ordered and rational, the intuitive and irrational, and the acoustics of the ear. - Elliott Sharp
They're not lying with the title of this great little set — as Don Elliott blows his unique horn with a very mellow tone ! The instrument is kind of a bigger version of a flugelhorn — and is used by Don in a laidback combo that also features trombone from Billy Byers, trumpet from Howie Reich, and baritone sax from Danny Bank — all deep sounds that set up a bank of color for Elliott to work with in his most vivid way. Other players include Hal McKusick on alto and flute — but working without as much of the sharper, cutting tones of other 50s albums — and rhythm is from Barry Galbraith on guitar, Milt Hinton on bass, and Mel Zelnick on drums.