1. I'm Beginning to See the Light
2. Creole Love Call
4. Duke at the Roadhouse
5. In a Mellotone
6. In a Sentimental Mood
7. Sophisticated Lady
8. Duke in Ojai
9. Mood Indigo
10. It Don't Mean a Thing
Roger Kellaway - Piano
Eddie Daniels - Clarinet, tenor sax
James Holland - Cello
This is the third recorded collaboration between pianist Roger Kellaway and reedman Eddie Daniels. I reviewed the first two (IPOC1015 and
IPOC1021) but this one is slightly different. Whereas the two preceding albums consisted of originals and jazz standards, the programme here is basically a tribute to Duke Ellington, comprising eight tunes written by the Duke or familiar from his band's repertoire, plus one original each by Kellaway and Daniels. Another change is that the duo becomes a trio on four tracks with the addition of cellist James Holland. Roger Kellaway composed a cello quartet way back in 1971, so he was happy to write out the cello parts for James Holland - even the solos, for which James had to know jazz phrasing.
Recorded in October 2012 at the Lensic Theatre in Santa F‚, this concert is just as delightful as the duo's previous collaborations. The whole thing is like an extended conversation between two highly-gifted musicians. The opening track illustrates this perfectly, with Daniels stating the melody and Kellaway interpolating short phrases as if in response. When Daniels goes off into soloing on his own, there are several humorous touches. Kellaway's own solo is scintillating, and the final chorus is puckishly cheeky.
In Creole Love Call, Eddie Daniels' sounds like Jimmy Giuffre in gentle mood, and his closing cadenza to is incredibly daring. Cellist James Holland makes his first appearance in Perdido, supplying an arco bass line and soloing melodiously. Unusual voicings impart freshness to this well-known tune. Eddie Daniels' Duke at the Roadhouse seesaws between convolution and simplicity.
Eddie switches to the tenor sax for In a Mellotone, whch also introduces the cellist once again. In a Sentimental Mood contains some ecstatic counterpoint between the three instruments, and Sophisticated Lady features some tenderly lyrical tenor sax. Roger Kellaway's Duke in Ojai (Ojai seems to be a town in California) has an air of mystery evoked both by Daniels' eerie clarinet and Kellaway's swirling piano.
James Holland's cello returns in Mood Indigo, helping to create an opulently chorded piece. The concert ends with a jovial version of It Don't Mean a Thing which proves that this duo is on top of swing as well as technique and originality. This is the third magnificent album in a row from these two master musicians.