I visited New York in '63, intending to move there, but I noticed that what I valued about jazz was being discarded. I ran into `out-to-lunch' free jazz, and the notion that groove was old-fashioned. All around the United States, I could see jazz becoming linear, a horn-player's world. It made me realize that we were not jazz musicians; we were territory musicians in love with all forms of African-American music. All of the musicians I loved were territory musicians, deeply into blues and gospel as well as jazz.
That was an idea of the record company, and also that was my first album after MCA and we wanted to come back with a strong album that would be noticed. If we put the vocals by very talented people and very meaningful songs, then the vocals would be a platform so that I could be noticed again. All of the MCA albums were just loaded with problems -- you know, the right musicians, the engineers. The record company would say 'You have to make music for black radio, you can't do what you have been doing with The Crusaders.
I feel that Wilton Felder and Wayne Henderson have involved themselves so deeply into being Jehovah's Witnesses that Stix Hooper and I have decided we simply cannot tiptoe around them. Now at 53 years old, I am looking forward to the rest of my life.