I love listening to great jazz artists like Michael Brecker, Chick Corea and Pat Metheney and I'm a big fan of Funky players like Maceo Parker. I also listen to loads of Latin music featuring greats like Tito Puente and Poncho Sanchez. Jazz and Latin music have always lifted my spirits and I hope some of these influences come through on this recording. Most of my tunes take shape while I'm driving or just thinking about music. It's usually the melody and bass line ideas that come first. Then I sit at the piano and explore the ideas to see if any chords come to mind to support the tunes. Most of my Latin things are just based on a simple, minor triad piano montuno and a singable horn line. When I write jazzy things I usually just play fourth chords under the melody and leave it to Anders to develop these ideas. Finally I notate the material before showing it to the band. With Jaywalk, Sketch and Three Fall I was aiming for a post bop jazz vibe and although the tunes are played on alto or trumpet, I had the late, great tenor player Michael Brecker in mind. Just Funky and Straight Ahead were inspired by the Funky sound of The JBs and Maceo Parker and Alhambra was inspired by The Alhambra palace in Grenada, Spain - It's an amazing place to visit as it's a mixture of Arab, Moorish and Spanish influences. I've tried to represent them in the music by using Flamenco hand claps, trumpet and castanets with the Eastern influences represented by Doumbek and finger cymbals. With To and Fro, I wanted to explore the relationship between 12/8 and 4/4. I started with the busy bass line and then built the melody on top with the A and B sections alternating between a 12/8 Afro feel and 4/4 swing. Cubana Babe is a fun Latin thing that enabled me to multi track lots of Latin percussion parts in the studio. I hope you enjoy these tunes. Dave Betts.