Companion was recorded in a special three-night series of shows in July, 1999 at Chicago's famed Green Mill jazz club — an unusually short amount of time to produce a live album. To mine as much material as possible from those nights the performances were run more like recording sessions than live shows, with the crowd reverently hushed. Patricia Barber is in her element and the only thing that seems to have suffered for the recording circumstances is the album's length — at seven songs and 40 minutes, it walks the line between standard EP and full-length size. One surmises that it might have been longer had there been more album-quality material from the performances. Recalling the energy that was present on her critically worshipped Cafe Blue album, there is an ease and creativity on Companion which makes her fans' devotion understandable.