John Hicks had heard of Maybeck Recital Hall long before he made his debut in the intimate room in August, 1990, to record this, his first solo piano album. JoAnne Brackeen, whose Maybeck album launched this quickly expanding and unprecedented series of solo piano recordings, had raved about the place to Hicks. When he sat down to play, he felt right at home.
Unlike most of the recordings he has made under his own name (ones that feature his compositions), for the Maybeck date, Hicks said, "I wanted to do some more standard compositions. Playing solo gives me a chance to extend my repertoire and play some songs I don't normally play in a group setting. By myself, I can take them in directions you just can't get to when there are other musicians involved.
"For Maybeck," Hicks said, "there were certain things I wanted to record, but really the recording aspect as indicental to the performance. I arrived with a list of songs I wanted to do. But once I started, I picked songs based on the feeling I got from the audience."
Hicks made numerous albums as a leader for various European and American labels, but this remains his most intimate recording, just Hicks at the piano with a warm and responsive audience, in an intimate setting.