The project took its final form through a confluence of two circumstances. Douglas's mother, nearing the end of her days, told him what songs she wanted played at her funeral. Later, inspired, he began planning to arrange and record those traditional hymns with his group. But then he heard Ms. O'Donovan's unmistakeably ethereal voice, and felt he had to invite her to participate in the project – even though he had never before recorded an album with a vocalist, let alone one whose background wasn't primarily in jazz.
As he told CapitalBop a few months ago, his "whole career has been about bringing different sorts of visions into the music and making a stab at taking the great lessons of jazz music and broadening them into other sorts of sounds and influences and realms and cultural content." One of the rewards of being a present-day music listener is tasting fruitful meldings like this.