Heads Up proudly began 1991 with its inaugural international release, Interior Designs, by saxophonist, composer and bandleader Kenny Blake. "In creating this album," says Blake, "a true cooperative spirit prevailed among the players. The uninhibited and constructive dialogue on both sides of the glass guided the recording process to a great finish, and, ironically, it was the older cats who were more into taking risks..."
This unique counter-balance is evident in the recording's song line-up. Sophisticated period-piece standards ("Take Five" and "Harlem Nocturne") were cleverly rearranged in a more rhythmically deliberate and contemporary manner. The lyrically decadent "Babylon Sisters," by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, soaks in the rich harmonic and ambient qualities inherent to the original Steely Dan version. Five original songs were co-composed by Blake and pianist Keith Stebler.
Two pieces fall outside the "Steel City" contingency: the stormy vocal "What Can I Say?" and the up-tempo "Irene." These feature the writing of Dallas-based pianist and R&B singer Joe McBride and trumpeter, co-producer and Heads Up founder Dave Love.