Some musicians can pinpoint the moment that they caught their big break in the music business, and in alto saxophonist Shawn Loescher's case, it was at the age of 15 in San Diego, CA, when he was discovered in the late '80s by jazz guitarist Art Johnson and fellow saxophonist Gary Scott. Shortly thereafter, Loescher began performing in public regularly, and also signed on to do transcriptions and arrangements for Tom Waits. Sensing that he wanted to fully realize his musical potential, Loescher momentarily put his budding career on hold to move east to Boston, MA, to attend the renowned Berklee College of Music in 1992 (all the while still finding time to continue playing with musicians including drummer Louie Bellson, plus two of his own groups). Upon graduating from Berklee in 1995 (and winning the Woodwind Achievement Award for jazz saxophone), Loescher relocated to Europe, where he began teaching at the Conservatory of Bratislava in the Slovak Republic.
It was during this time that Loescher formed his own trio and performed Eddie Sauter's "Focus Suite" (which was originally written for tenor saxophonist Stan Getz) for sax and string orchestra, while also composing his own original classical and jazz compositions. In 1997, Loescher was given a commission from the European Sacred Music Festival to create a work that combined both styles. The summer of 1999 saw the release of Distance, Loescher's debut recording with his trio, but shortly after its release, Loescher split up the trio to focus on working with vocalist Mark Murphy. In addition, Loescher also began recording with his mentor, Art Johnson.