For any musician to exhibit the natural, raw talent or the seamless versatility that Derick Kirk possessed is a rare thing. Such a deep understanding of his craft, and a preternatural ability with all of the many instruments that he could play, can only be attributed to the beautiful heart and soul of a great musician such as Derick. His was an understanding of music that transcended mere notes and chords and cut straight to the expression of ideas and feelings. This music reflects some of Derick's many different influences from all forms of Jazz. Examples of swing, bebop, Latin, Brazilian, funk, and rock can all be heard in these compositions, and yet they represent only a fraction of his ability. His musicianship, his instinct, and even the chemistry with the other musicians with whom he worked are nothing short of amazing. When Derick finally lost his battle with cancer in July of 2007, it was a heartbreaking experience for all who knew him. It goes without saying he was one of the most solid individuals that any of us will every know. However, all sentiment about Derick's illness or the unfairness of his untimely passing is totally absent from the music presented here. This is a celebration of his life and his life's work. It is an acknowledgment of his genius and a testament to how he, through his music, learned to truly soar.