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The Eddie Daniels Quartet: Mean What You Say

Jerry D'Souza By

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Eddie Daniels has been under the radar for several years now. The woodwind specialist has surfaced to play on occasion, but the presence that once marked him has been missing. He is now back with a stellar cast and a new recording. Daniels is in top-notch form on Mean What You Say, and hopefully he will continue to be more visible in performance and on record.

The selection of well-tested standards serves the band well. The musicians unveil them with ease, but also with feeling. Each piece is shaped into an experience that lingers.

Daniels and Hank Jones wrote "Why You..., which starts off with on odd metre from Daniels on clarinet before the melody emerges and Jones takes off with striking chords that shift the point of emphasis. It's short and striking. Daniels' work on the tenor saxophone is sturdy and deep. The buoyant "You and the Night and the Music has him taking off on a high-flying trajectory. His journey is not smooth, since he favours breaking up the line. There is no certain track he will take as he lets loose staccato swishes in the melody and then goes into an earthy furrow, all of which are wrapped up nicely. Jones builds crystal edifices with a fine sense of artistry while Daniels and drummer Kenny Washington add the final impact as they trade phrases.

The band gives ballads an iridescent glow. Jones is at his lyrical best on "My One and Only Love, but Daniels brings it home, not just through his characteristic warmth, but also though the shifting landscape of his journey.


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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