Then came 20 years outside of music, during which Malick struggled with addiction and earned money primarily as a gambler and in the gaming business. But by 1994, he had cleaned up and returned to music. Based in Boston, he launched a band and recorded the albums Wrong Side of My Life (1998) and Sons of the Jet Age (2000). In 2001, his work on the final Otis Spann album Last Call won him a W.C. Handy Award for historic album of the year.
Malick began to work with several young, up-and-coming female vocalists whom he heard while touring, writing and recording with them. One of them was Norah Jones, and after she rose to fame in 2002, Malick issued an EP of his recordings with her, New York City, that reached the top half of the Billboard 200. It was followed by a full-length album, Chance & Circumstance, that repeated the Jones' tracks and added work with four other singers, one of them Malick's daughter, Mercy Malick. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi