Lee Mergner of the JazzTimes recently interviewed the legendary jazz clarinetist Eddie Daniels about a new upcoming project. Luckily for us the conversation went very long, with Eddie talking a lot about players he enjoys working with, ensemble concept, clubs versus festivals, tenor players around New York in the 70's, and more. Be sure to read the whole interview here.
That was a heckuva band back then with Thad and Mel and must have been quite an experience for a young player like Daniels. “Jerome Richardson was the lead alto, Pepper Adams was the baritone, Joe Farrell was the tenor when we started, plus Jerry Dodgion and myself. Roland Hanna on piano, Richard Davis on bass. Snooky Young, Bob Brookmeyer, Garnett Brown. Just a fabulous band. Getting a chance to listen to Joe Farrell and then Joe Henderson was great.”
Heady company for a young tenor player. “Joe was the other tenor player in the band when I was there. And Michael Brecker was a student of mine at one point and was a great friend. I thought, ‘I love the way these guys play, I think they play better than I do.’ But with the clarinet, I thought I’d have my own channel. But eventually I realized that I could come back to the tenor. I don’t have to be Joe Henderson, I don’t have to be Michael Brecker, I’m Eddie.”
The interesting thing about those two tenor players is that for all their incredible talents, they were both very humble people. Daniels thinks that it’s no accident. “When you are making music at that high a level, there’s no time to do anything else but work your art. If you’re not humble, then you’re in the wrong business.”