Tiny Island was formed by Göran Wennerbrandt in 1989, but on their cooperation with Eric Bibb in 1993 went under the name of "Needed Time" with basically the same members. During the years 1994-1998 either Göran Wennerbrandt or the whole band toured regularly with Eric Bibb in both Europe and Canada. On this, Tiny Island debut album they play instrumental music with ingredients from near and far – warm island breezes, a trace of oriental spice and Nordic mood. All the music has been composed by the members of the band with exception of one track by Taj Mahal.
A set of songs written by jazz musicians were arranged for this project by pianist Carlos Franzetti for piano, sax, bass, flute, clarinet, and a string quartet. The results are pleasing if not overly memorable. While the selections are often challenging, the interpretations are more middle-of-the-road and fairly accessible due to the strings. Franzetti and saxophonist Lawrence Feldman take most of the solos and their improvisations are excellent, although the utilization of strings and woodwinds smoothes over some of the rough edges of the compositions, making the results fairly safe if occasionally unpredictable.
The pulsations of Steve Reich's landmark Music for 18 Musicians signify a New Music precipice. Where so much music after World War II explored extremes of tone, time, and register, Reich–and some of his colleagues in the 1960s and after–gravitated towards immersion in repetitions and telescoped focus on tonal areas. The combination of piano, vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, clarinets, violin, cello, and female voices is intoxicating in Reich's hands. Reich creates a middle-register, ringing vamp with burnished reed palpitations and, eventually, quick, rolling piano figures emerge in tandem with the percussion. This recording is the second-best known, next to the ECM Records version of the piece, and is warm and colorfully tingling.