On his fourth album, Jones leads a group that features the modern jazz scene's most innovative musicians: Steve Davis on trombone, Greg Tardy on saxophone, Eric Reed on piano, Dezron Douglas on bass, Warren Wolf on vibes and vocalists Claudia Acuña and Renee Neufville. The Next Phase consists of an original tune by Jones as well as new and unreleased songs by Reed, Douglas and Davis. "Until It's Time for You To Go," originally recorded by Roberta Flack, has been translated to the jazz medium by vocalist Renee Neufville. Claudia Acuña is featured on "Melancholy Mind," written by pianist Anthony Wonsey.
Jones continues to work consistently with venerable artists Cedar Walton, Hank Jones, Ernestine Anderson, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars and others but the album's title reflects the changes in the drummer's life, both personally and professionally.