"On The Way To The Sky" is a fourteenth studio album released by Neil Diamond in 1981. It contained the hit "Yesterday's Songs", which reached #11 and the title track which peaked at #27 in the US. The album marked a transition into a period of creative and commercial decline for him that lasted, to one degree or another, until the release of the 2001 album "Three Chord Opera", followed by his collaboration with producer Rick Rubin and the release of 2005's 12 Songs and 2008's "Home Before Dark". While Diamond continued having some success, some significant periodic hits, and some television specials and film appearances, the period beginning with the release of "On The Way To The Sky" did not have for him the same level of sales, notoriety or fame that the preceding times did.
Trumpeter Dave Douglas has participated in so many styles of music that listing them all would be mesmerizing. Some of his best work has been performed in free style and hard bop jazz groups. Here, he charts a different path, albeit one that he has pursued successfully before, in a mellow, lovely vein. Douglas is the only horn, backed by Guy Klucevsek's eclectic accordion, Mark Feldman's gloriously sweet violin, and Greg Cohen's acoustic string bass. With some exceptions, the dynamics are generally low, the tempos slow, and the mood serene. There is almost a post-minimalism to it all, capped by the exquisite sound of Douglas' trumpet.