Goodman tribute with a modern touch
Bomojaz | South Central PA, USA | 08/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anybody who wants a truly fresh approach to timeless music of an earlier era is advised that this CD might be the ticket: clarinetist Eddie Daniels and vibraphonist Gary Burton play a baker's dozen of swing classics associated with Benny Goodman (mostly). But the quartet here (Mulgrew Miller is on piano, Marc Johnson-bass, and Peter Erskine-drums) have their ears wide open to modern harmonic ideas and freely incorporate them in their interpretations of BG's music. SING SING SING is very harmonically advanced, while LET'S DANCE is taken very effectively (and unusually) as a slow mood piece. Daniels is not a Goodman copyist, but is able to inject his own (modern) ideas while not straying dramatically far from BG's own style.
But Gary Burton is the real hero of this date: on many up-tempo tunes (AVALON, AFTER YOU'VE GONE) Burton out-Hamptons Lionel Hampton (who played on the original BG trio/quartet sessions) in his precise playing while dropping advanced harmonic chords into his fiery solos along the way just to keep the listener smiling. SLIPPED DISC has a latin flavor to it and GOODBY is taken very slowly and takes on an impressionistic, dreamy quality. Two of the 13 tunes are more associated with Red Norvo than Goodman, with the group exploring the rich harmonies of IN A MIST (a Bix Beiderbecke tune and Norvo's first recording, with BG on clarinet) and Burton switching over to marimba on KNOCKIN' ON WOOD (Norvo's second recording, no Goodman, though). This is just a great CD, and all the musicians sound like they had a ball making it. Burton is fantastic. Highly recommended."
Great tribute; updates the clarinet & vibes sound
James A. Vedda | Alexandria, VA USA | 07/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gary Burton joins Daniels for this superb 1992 tribute to Benny Goodman and his late-1930s quartet that included Lionel Hampton on vibes. As Daniels has done with dozens of other jazz standards, he puts a fresh face on the Goodman material and makes it his own. The solo work by all the players is impeccable on all 13 tracks. Daniels and Burton are unfailingly lyrical in their improvisations regardless of tempo.
This excellent CD is available at bargain prices. I got my copy for a little over $3.00 and as of this writing there are some copies available for under $3.00. This is the best deal you're going to find on nearly an hour of outstanding music. An informative 20-page booklet is included.
Also look for these other Eddie Daniels CDs: "To Bird With Love" (1987) is a tribute to Charlie Parker. "Homecoming" (2007) is a two-disc set featuring Daniels on both clarinet and tenor sax in a quintet that includes vibes. (See my reviews of both of these CDs.) Also, Daniels performs "Sing, Sing, Sing," "Stompin' at the Savoy," and "Goodbye" with big band backup on his "Swing Low, Sweet Clarinet" album (2000)."