Upon its release, the album garnered mixed reviews from critics, yet Shepp and Parlan were obviously satisfied with the results, because three years later, in 1980, they entered the studio again to record a sequel—Trouble in Mind, a similar project focusing this time on secular music. This new collaboration is a tribute to the classic blues tradition of the '20s and '30s, as performed by legendary artists of the genre such as Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith. From the opening track, Smith's "Backwater Blues," it seems evident that we're listening to a very special album by two jazzmen who have a thorough understanding of the roots of African American music, which they reinterpret in a uniquely personal way. Parlan supports Shepp's saxophone (he plays both tenor and soprano) very effectively and with elegance, and Shepp improvises on the melodies of these classic songs with delicacy and reverence. There are nods to W.C. Handy ("Careless Love"), Earl Hines ("Blues in Thirds"), and Leroy Carr ("How Long Blues"), as well as subtle interpretations of "See See Rider" and "Trouble in Mind." The melancholic, appropriately funereal reading of "St. James Infirmary" is one of the most memorable tracks of a fabulous album that finds Shepp and Parlan perfectly in tune with each other. Overall, this is a highly emotional collaboration, a joint exploration of the sounds that lie at the very core of the musical makeup of both participants. It's stripped-down music that catches the listener's attention for its sheer beauty, quiet intimacy, and heartfelt immediacy.