Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"Because Eddie Daniels had relocated to New Mexico from his native New York City years ago, his 2006 engagement at New York's Iridium was indeed a homecoming. He had given up his tenor saxophone to become one of the premier jazz clarinetists of all time, but he recently started playing tenor again, and he played both horns on his return to the city. Expressing a fondness for the chamber jazz of the Modern Jazz Quartet ("Jazz has lost a little bit of that beauty and sophistication," he says in the liners), Daniels recruited vibraphonist Joe Locke to supplement pianist Tom Ranier, bassist Dave Finck and drummer Joe La Barbera. Further underscoring the MJQ connection, the double-CD set includes Roger Kellaway's "Déjà VU MJQ" and a 14 1/2-minute version of the group's classic "Django."
Daniels' exquisite playing, featuring one of the most beautiful clarinet sounds anywhere, retrieves some of that lost "beauty and sophistication." Tunes like Ranier's pensive "Resolution" and Mike Patterson's poignant "Not Alone" contribute to the effort. But Daniels and friends also deliver some hot hard bop, such as the blazing "Falling in Love with Love" and the runaway "That's for Afta," Daniels' take on "After You've Gone."" -BlogCritics
Down Beat (p.60) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Daniels provides a furiously swinging ride that grooves on a Benny Goodman-like riff in his final bars."
JazzTimes (p.86) - "[With] Daniels' exquisite playing, featuring one of the most beautiful clarinet sounds anywhere..."
Personnel: Eddie Daniels (clarinet, tenor saxophone); Eddie Daniels; Tom Ranier (piano); Joe Locke (vibraphone); Joe La Barbera (drums).
Additional personnel: David Finck (bass guitar); Joe La Barbera, Joe Locke, Tom Ranier.
Liner Note Author: Ira Gitler.
Recording information: The Iridium Jazz Club, New York, NY (10/19/2006-10/22/2006).
Photographer: Nick Ruechel.
This two-CD set features the brilliant clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Eddie Daniels live at the Iridium in New York during a four-day engagement. Daniels is a great virtuoso on clarinet who can play either jazz or classical music with equal skill. His tenor playing is sometimes overshadowed, but listen to how he rips into "Falling In Love with Love," never running out of creative ideas during his lengthy solo, and his explorative improvisation on a version of "Night and Day" that is reminiscent of "Giant Steps." Daniels alternates standards with obscurities and complex originals including the rapid "That's for Afta," which is based on the chord changes of "After You've Gone." With fine solos also contributed by vibraphonist Joe Locke and pianist Tom Ranier, Daniels is inspired to play at his best throughout. This set concludes with briefer "radio edits" taken from three of the performances. Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow