June 17, 2024

Eddie Daniels
Mean What You Say
(Ipo Recordings – 2006)
by John Thompson

The name Eddie Daniels is synonymous with jazz clarinet. In this quartet setting, he is joined by greats such as Richard Davis (b), Kenny Washington (d) and the monumental jazz veteran, Hank Jones (p). There is no question that Daniels’ technique and control on the clarinet is nearly unmatched, as he definitely displays on Strayhorn’s Passion Flower. While the rhythm section is rock-solid, the smoothness of Jones’ ivory add body throughout the 12 tracks.

Daniels first came to the attention of jazz audiences as a tenor saxophonist with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. In 1968, a single clarinet solo on that group’s Live at the Village Vanguard garnered sufficient attention for Daniels to win Down Beat’s International Critics New Star on Clarinet award.

Though the tenor sax playing on this release is only average, this is still one to own for moderate-style listener minus the hard bop. 3 stars.

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