Personnel: Eddie Daniels (clarinet); HR Big Band.
Recorded at Hessicher Rundfunk, Frankfurt, Germany on November 8-12, 1999.
Personnel: Eddie Daniels (clarinet); Werner Vetterer (guitar); Harry Petersen, Heinz Dieter Saurborn (alto saxophone); Wilson De Oliviera, Tony Lakatos (tenor saxophone); John Oslawski (baritone saxophone); Alexandre Malempr‚, Martin Auer (trumpet); Manfred Honetschl„ger, Torolf Molgaard, G쳌nter Bollmann, Peter Feil (trombone); Peter Reiter (piano); Wolfgang Haffner (drums).
Audio Mixer: Axel Gutzler.
Liner Note Author: Eddie Daniels.
Recording information: Hessian Radio Studios, Frankfurt, Germany (11/08/1999-11/12/1999).
Photographer: Valerie Santagto.
Arrangers: Wilson De Oliviera; Peter Reiter; Peter Feil; Peter Herbolzheimer; Thad Jones.
The clarinet continues to make a comeback in jazz. While not reaching the pinnacle it occupied during the 1930s and 1940s, it has regained some of the prominence it had as a jazz instrument, and not just with New Orleans traditional jazz, but mainstream, post-bop, and modern as well. This resurgence has been helped by the likes of Don Byron, Alan Vach‚, Ken Peplowski, Antti Sarpila -- and Eddie Daniels. Daniels has now added to the movement with this album backed by the very professional hr Big Band ("hr" being the nomenclature for the Frankfurt Radio Big Band). The play list for this session includes standards associated with clarinetists from the instruments' golden era, a couple of jazz standards, and two originals by Daniels. One of the tributes to his major influence, Benny Goodman, is a lovely recitation of Gordon Jenkins' "Goodbye," Goodman's signature tune. Daniels' approach is different as he plays in a lower register, adds arpeggios, engages in dazzling runs, and improvises on the melody line, giving the tune an almost classical sound. In fact, there is a classical ambience to the entire set, with many of the pieces coming off as short concerti for clarinet and orchestra. Classical bent notwithstanding, the clarinet was the darling of the swing era and that genre is not ignored, with such authentically performed tunes as "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "Sing, Sing, Sing." But these references to Goodman's material are not knee-jerk imitations. Daniels and the orchestra take a fresh look and, in doing so, help to dispel the rap that while the clarinetist is a technical wonder, he is not especially innovative. Creativity is also dominant on Thad Jones' tune "Three in One," and Artie Shaw is remembered with two of the tunes he made famous. All in all, there is not a disappointing track on the CD. This joint venture between Daniels and the 16-piece hr Big Band is a successful one and would enhance any collection. Highly recommended. ~ Dave Nathan