It Had to Be You

It Had to Be You

Former Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra tenor saxophonist Eddie Daniels, who has been carving out a successful career for himself in both jazz and classical music since the 1960s, here offers an intimate, chamber music approach to his jazz side: a quartet balancing his sax and clarinet playing with the standard back up of piano, bass, and drums. His sidemen—Hank Jones, Richard Davis, and Kenny Washington—are all standard bearers of their instruments in the jazz community, and all 12 titles on the album are, well, standards. But Daniels’s approach is anything but. I thought I heard everything anyone could ever come up with for “It Had to Be You,” the 1924 song by Gus Kahn and Isham Jones. But Daniels’s probing clarinet solo on it here—a sometimes angular though always inevitable-sounding melodic cascade—reveals all sorts of possibilities lurking within its all-too-familiar tune and chord changes.

–FJO

NewMusicBox provides a space for those engaged with new music to communicate their experiences and ideas in their own words. Articles and commentary posted here reflect the viewpoints of their individual authors; their appearance on NewMusicBox does not imply endorsement by New Music USA.