The trio first came together when recording the singer's 2005 album, At the Wood's Heart. Warren and Ballamy had played together previously in a variety of live settings, and it was the pianist who recommended the saxophonist to Tabor to join the studio group. After its release, the album became one of the vocalist's most highly regarded offerings. The trio dubbed themselves Quercus and toured in support of At the Wood's Heart over the next year. They developed new material as they went, weaving together the British Isles folk tradition and jazz improvisation and standards. Near the tour's end, they were recorded live at the Anvil in Basingstoke by Paul Sparrow. The resultant tapes -- featuring only one thoroughly rearranged selection from Tabor's record -- were acquired by ECM Records and released as Quercus in June of 2013 and won the German Record Critics Prize as Album of the Year, but reception to the recording was globally positive. They played shows in England and in Europe, and worked on new material.
In December of 2015, they entered a studio at Cooper Hall in From, Somerset. With Warren and Ballamy sharing production duties they cut a series of traditional folk songs -- including a thoroughly re-visioned "Auld Lang Syne" -- three pop standards including Leonard Bernstein's "Somewhere" from West Side Story, Bob Dylan's "Don’t Think Twice (It's Alright"), and Don Raye's and Gene DePaul's "You Don't Know What Love Is," now an inseparable part of the jazz tradition. The finished album, Nightfall, was released by ECM in May 2017. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi