In 1976, Joe McPhee recorded the landmark album Tenor, kicking off a solo period of finding and refining the distinctive voice that continues to inform his music to this day. Solos: The Lost Tapes (1980-1981-1984) is a collection of material from McPhee's personal archives that shines new light on the legendary multi-instrumentalist's work during this time. 'Wind Cycles,' for tenor saxophone, explores the permutations of breath on reed and brass, from quiet whispers to full-throated cries and back again. With 'The Redwood Rag,' McPhee takes a jaunty melody and gives it a swinging workout with Steve Lacy-like precision. The free-blowing alto excursion 'Ice Blu' is, in McPhee's words, 'a sound which evokes an image, which asks a question "What is that?" and the answer is, a sound which evokes an image which asks a question.' 'Voices,' one of his signature compositions, gets a particularly haunting treatment here on soprano, with McPhee incorporating various electronics to mesmerizing effect. All together, Solos: The Lost Tapes (1980-1981-1984) is the distilled essence of one of the most important creative improvising musicians of our time.