Thursday, September 3, 2009

Eddie Daniels and Roger Kellaway: A Duet of One

IPO Recordings
By Ric Bang • Originally published in The Davis Enterprise, 9.3.09
Buy CD: A Duet of One

This is one of the most beautiful, innovative and impressive albums I've reviewed in a long time.

During his early years, pianist Roger Kellaway was best known for his writing, and as an accompanist for “name” vocalists; he didn't begin to play and record as a leader until he was eligible for Social Security. Eddie Daniels has played reed instruments for decades; during the 1960s and '70s, he was featured on tenor sax with Thad Jones/Mel Lewis and other bands, then in the '80s began to concentrate on his clarinet.

We're fortunate that both artists have extensive discographies.

A Duet of One was recorded live at The Bakery — a Los Angeles jazz club — over a four-day period in early 2005, but wasn't released until now. Daniels and Kellaway are the duet; as the title implies, their performances were so musically “linked” that they played as one. They didn't use arrangements, instead relying on lead sheets, which contain just the melody and chords.

They also didn't rehearse. Everything that ensued flowed from their experience and innovative talent.

Four of these 10 tunes are jazz standards: “I'm Getting Sentimental Over You,” “I Want to Be Happy,” “New Orleans” and “After You've Gone.” I guarantee that you've never heard these old chestnuts played this way. Of the remaining original compositions, Kellaway wrote two, and Daniels wrote four; all are as impressive as the standards.

The result wasn't just a session; it was a capital-C Concert!

Don't miss this marvelous CD.

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