This was the perfect setting during his later years. The trumpeter (who also sings on two of the six songs) sounds very relaxed and comfortable while accompanied by the duo of guitarist Doug Raney and bassist Niels Pedersen, taking some consistently lyrical solos on the six standards.
Trends in African-American music changed considerably between Anita Baker's first taste of national exposure in 1979 (when she was a member of Detroit soul band Chapter 8 and sang lead on the hit ballad "I Just Wanna Be Your Girl") and her debut solo album, The Songstress, in 1983. While 1979's black music charts were full of large funk bands, standup vocal harmony groups, and disco divas, rappers and techno-funksters like the System were very much in vogue in 1983. Instead of following trends, Baker excelled by doing what she does best: gospel-influenced, '70s-type soul/pop with jazz overtones. The Songstress, released by the small Beverly Glen label and reissued by Elektra in 1991 is her best album.
As part of this [four-part] edition of previously unreleased radio recordings from across Fischer-Dieskau’s entire career, these interpretations of Beethoven, Mahler and Schumann demonstrate his unrivalled synthesis of intelligence and expression.