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Eddie Daniels: Mean What You Say

Dan McClenaghan By

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Reedman Eddie Daniels, best known as a virtuosic clarinetist who crosses the borders between jazz and classical, offers up his first straight-ahead jazz set in a decade on Mean What You Say. It's a classic sound: tenor sax and clarinet backed by an understated but stellar rhythm team comprised of the venerable Hank Jones (piano), Richard Davis (bass) and Kenny Washington (drums).

Daniels is best known for his clarinet playing, and his profile that rose considerably after he won a Grammy for his 1989 performance on the Roger Calloway arrangement of "Memos From Paradise." But he opens this set on tenor sax with Thad Jones' "Mean What You Say," perhaps taken from his six-year stint with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, alongside current accompanists Hank Jones (Thad's older brother) and Richard Davis. His tone on tenor is fresh and clean, his approach forthrightly straight-ahead on the opener, as well as the classics "My One and Only Love," "You and the Night and the Music" and Irving Berlin's "How Deep is the Ocean."

Daniels' clarinet work on the rest of the tunes, including Strayhorn's "Passion Flower," Ellington's "Azure" and Ray Noble's "The Touch of Your Lips," has elegance written all over it. Daniels has a sweet, clean, classy, flawless style, and a classy and flawless rhythm team behind him.

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 saxophone; Hank Jones: piano; Richard Davis: bass; Kenny Washington: drums.

Title: Mean What You Say | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: IPO Recordings

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