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Eddie Daniels Quartet: Mean What You Say (2006)

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Eddie Daniels Quartet: Mean What You Say How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

For Mean What You Say, Eddie Daniels reunites with two of his bandmates from the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra (Hank Jones and Richard Davis), plus Kenny Washington on drums. He also brings his tenor sax on this fine studio date for the first time in quite a while.

Although he has concentrated on the clarinet for decades, Daniels still has plenty of tenor chops, as evident on his boisterous interpretation of "Mean What You Say and the lyrical setting of "My One and Only Love (which will immediately conjure the famous recording by John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman). But most of the disc focuses on the clarinet. Jones is at his very best with his elegant work on Duke Ellington's "Azure and Billy Strayhorn's "Passion Flower.

The group delves into popular music from the '30s, including a romp through "Nagasaki and the easygoing "It Had to Be You. Daniels and Jones collaborated on the playful duet "Why You, a piece inspired by the famous punch line (often uttered by Moe Howard right before he was about to slap or poke one of his fellow Three Stooges). Daniels also revisits his earlier recording of Charlie Parker's "My Little Suede Shoes, taking a lot more chances as he is propelled by Washington's strong percussion. The support provided by Davis and Washington (the latter often using brushes) is also essential to this outstanding release.

Track Listing: Mean What You Say; It Had to Be You; Passion Flower; Nagasaki; My One and Only Love; Why You...; Azure; The Touch of Your Lips; You and the Night and the Music ; I'm Getting Sentimental Over You; My Little Suede Shoes; How Deep Is the Ocean?.

Personnel: Eddie Daniels: clarinet, tenor sax; Hank Jones: piano; Richard Davis: bass; Kenny Washington: drums.

Record Label: IPO Recordings

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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