Eddie Daniels, Clarinet
Eddie Daniels is that rarest of rare musicians who is not only equally at home in both jazz and classical music but excels at both with breathtaking virtuosity. Expert testimony from the jazz world comes from the eminent jazz critic Leonard Feather, who said of Eddie, "It is a rare event in jazz when one man can all but reinvent an instrument, bringing it to a new stage of its evolution". From the classical side Leonard Bernstein says, "Eddie Daniels combines elegance and virtuosity in a way that makes me remember Arthur Rubenstein. He is a thoroughly well-bred demon".
Although Eddie first came to the attention of the jazz audience as a tenor saxophonist in 1966, he began studying clarinet at age 13 and received his Masters in Clarinet from Juilliard. When he subsequently began recording as a leader he concentrated on the clarinet. Jack Elliot, musical director of the New American Orchestra, was so impressed with Eddie's playing on an early CBS recording that he commissioned Jorge Calandrelli to compose a major work for him. The result was Concerto for Jazz Clarinet and Orchestra which Eddie premiered in Los Angeles in 1984. This work became the centerpiece of his debut GRP album, Breakthrough, recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London. Of this recording Quincy Jones said, "Eddie's debut album for GRP will become the benchmark to judge all future recordings blending the world of classical music and jazz." Eddie's latest recording is Beautiful Love, Intimate Jazz Portraits, recorded with his longtime friends and associates guitarist Chuck Loeb and keyboard great Bob James.
Eddie Daniels is clearly a renaissance musician, a virtuoso in both jazz and classical music, recipient of unreserved accolades from his peers, from critics, and from the public. Eddie's overriding ambition is to reach as many people as possible with his music, to enlarge the audience for both jazz and classical music and at the same time to tear down the walls separating them. In Eddie's hands the music of Mozart can be as engaging as that of Charlie Parker and a concert featuring both can be a uniquely rewarding experience for the audience.
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