It really is. Steve Swallow, one of the world's great jazz bassists, together with nonpareil singer Sheila Jordan and an allstar ensemble including pianists Steve Kuhn and Lyle Mays, has set a series of Robert Creeley poems to music. But...it isn't a stiff exercise. It COOKS! The songs swing hard, but leave ample room for appreciation of Creeley's brilliant words: these songs are sad and funny, ironic and sincere, and very human. Swallow's compositions are brilliant and gorgeously played. This is one of my favorite records, and one of ECM's hidden gems.