1980 was to mark a great turning point for me as an artist. It seemed like the 'Fusion Era' had come to an end and I was really very discouraged with the way I was playing and sounding. Put these factors together with the news that Columbia records was not going to renew my option for a fourth recording....well, it was pretty devastating at the time. I suppose this recording would have never happened had it not been for three very good friends Steve Khan - David Russell Young Acousticand consistent supporters: pianist, Warren Bernhardt(the great pianist, and my next-door neighbor); engineer, Doug Epstein; and A&R man, Steve Backer.
    Warren had been listening to me crafting a collage of Monk tunes for months and encouraged me to record them. As he was urging me, fate brought a phone call from Doug(who did engineering in various degrees on all three of my Columbia recordings at Mediasound) asking me if I had anything in mind recording-wise. He went on to say that, he could probably get us a 'deal' at the studio. This was to be my first totally acoustic guitar recording since "TWO FOR THE ROAD"(the acoustic duets with Larry Coryell).
    Thus began my first adventure in paying for a recording out of my own pocket. It was a pretty scary proposition, believe me! It still is a scary thing to do! We completed the recording over a few weekends, and then I attempted to shop the project around. Lucky for me, Steve Backer was launching a new label of his own, Arista/Novus(which released recordings by: John Scofield; Warren Bernhardt; Air; Anthony Braxton; Cecil Taylor and many other artists), and, he picked-up "EVIDENCE." Best of all, he even reimbursed me the entire $6,000 spent in production costs.
    To this day, it remains that this is the only time that has happened. Because of the LP format, remember, an LP has two sides? I decided that one side would feature five pieces by some of my favorite jazz composers done as ballads, and Side 2 would be the 9-song medley of Thelonious Monk tunes. Highlights remain: Joe Zawinul's "In a Silent Way" and, of course, the "Monk Medley."

[1]   Infant Eyes(Wayne Shorter)(4:22)
[2]   In a Silent Way(Joe Zawinul)(4:47)
[3]   Melancholee(Lee Morgan)(4:59)
[4]   Threesome(Randy Brecker)(3:07)
[5]   Peace(Horace Silver)(3:26)
       Thelonious Monk Medley(18:36)
[6]   Evidence(Monk)(:54)
[7]   Think of One(Monk)(1:16)
[8]   Monk's Mood(Monk)(2:44)
[9]   Little Rootie Tootie(Monk)(1:20)
[10] Monk's Dream(Monk)(2:37)
[11] Pannonica(Monk)(2:46)
[12] Bye-ya(Monk)(2:07)
[13] Ruby, My Dear(Monk)(3:11)
[14] Friday the 13th(Monk)(1:32)

Steve w/ his David Russell Young 6-string acoustic
Photo: Richard Laird 1980

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