Eddie Daniels


Daniels 1Clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Eddie Daniels was born in New York City and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He became interested in jazz as a teenager when he was impressed by the musicians accompanying singers, such as Frank Sinatra, on recordings. Daniels’ first instrument was the alto saxophone, and by the age of 15 he had played at the Newport Jazz Festival youth competition. At the age of 13, he was also playing clarinet. Eddie played tenor sax with The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra in the mid 1960’s where he earned a Downbeat Award for the Best New Star on the clarinet.

Daniels has toured and recorded with a variety of bands, small groups and orchestras, and appeared on television many times. Since the 1980s, he has focused mainly on the clarinet. He has been able to blend a quasi-classical style music with swinging jazz and never ceases to astound listeners all over the world. In 1989, he won a Grammy Award for his contribution to the Roger Kellaway arrangement of Memos from Paradise. He has also played with artists such as Freddie Hubbard, Richard Davis, Don Patterson, Bucky Pizzarelli, and many other notables.

On the podcast you can listen to my conversation with Eddie where he relates wonderful stories about his background and experiences in the music world.

Duke Pearson


duke_pearson50f57da2eeb59Born Columbus Calvin Pearson, Jr. in Atlanta, GA, Duke Pearson (1932-1980) started on the trumpet then later switched to the piano. He was soon given the nickname Duke, a reference to Duke Ellington. He attended Clark College in the early 1950’s, and later joined the Army. Pearson performed locally in the south with a number of bands before moving to New York in 1959. He joined Benny Golson’s Jazztet, but was quickly recruited by trumpeter Donald Byrd to join his newly formed quintet with baritone saxophonist, Pepper Adams (not Art Pepper). He recorded with Donald Byrd and quite a few other artists in the early 1960’s and was beginning to make a name for himself as composer and arranger. He was an accomplished lyrical pianist and as a producer at Blue Note records played a crucial role in shaping its hard bop sound in the 1960’s. He is best remembered for writing several compositions such at Jeannine, Big Bertha, New Girl, Sweet Honey Bee, and Cristo Redentor.

Duke Pearson - Episode 1

CompositionArtistAlbumYear
JeannineDuke Pearson/Donald ByrdAt the Half Note v.1-21960
InterfaceHank JonesThe Oracle1989
My Girl ShirlDuke Pearson/Donald ByrdAt the Half Note v.1-21960
Child’s PlayDuke Pearson/Donald ByrdAt the Half Note v.1-21960
ChantDuke Pearson/Donald ByrdAt the Half Note v.1-21960
Minor MishapDuke Pearson/Freddie HubbardGroovy1961

Duke Pearson - Episode 2

Pearson’s first commercial success came as the arranger for Donald Byrd’s 1963 album New Perspective. His composition Cristo Redentor was big hit on jazz and cross-over radio stations that year. From 1963 to 1970 Duke was also an A&R producer at Blue Note Records. Blue Note Records was one of the most important jazz labels in the 1950’s and 1960’s, serving as a barometer for hard bop and all of the derivative styles that it produced. Pearson’s recordings from the mid 1960’s reflect some of his best work as a composer and pianist. By 1966 he began writing for larger groups with more horn players: this allowed him to create interesting colors and textures.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Cristo RedentorDuke Pearson/Donald ByrdNew Perspective1963
Big BerthaDuke PearsonSweet Honey Bee1966
Little WaltzDuke PearsonPrairie Dog1966
SudelDuke PearsonSweet Honey Bee1966
Chili PeppersDuke PearsonThe Right Touch1967
Los Malos HombresDuke PearsonThe Right Touch1967

Duke Pearson - Episode 3

On the podcast I will concentrate on Duke Pearson’s skills as a highly inventive big band arranger and composer. By 1967 Pearson was leading a big band in New York which consisted of top jazz and studio musicians, such as Chick Corea, Pepper Adams, Randy Brecker, Marvin Stamm, and Garnett Brown. The latter three were also members of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis band that also played at the same night club, The Village Vanguard, but on different nights. The musicians performed at their own discretion between the two ensembles. On the 1967 album, Introducing Duke Pearson’s Big Band, Pearson wrote all of the arrangements, including many original compositions, showing off his skills as a gifted arranger.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
New GirlDuke PearsonIntroducing Duke Pearson’s Big Band1967
Straight Up and DownDuke PearsonIntroducing Duke Pearson’s Big Band1967
Make it GoodDuke PearsonIntroducing Duke Pearson’s Big Band1967
Minor LeagueDuke PearsonIntroducing Duke Pearson’s Big Band1967

Freddie Hubbard


Hubbard 3Hubbard’s trumpet playing is a combination of all the greats that came before him including Clifford Brown, Fats Navarro, Dizzy Gillespie, and some contemporaries including Booker Little and Lee Morgan. His astounding technique, great range, beautiful sound, and seemingly endless creativity made him one of the most sought after trumpet players of his generation.

Freddie Hubbard - Episode 1

Freddie Hubbard was born in 1938 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He played mellophone and then trumpet in his school band, studying at the Jordan Conservatory. While living in Indianapolis he played with Wes and Monk Montgomery, Larry Ridley, and James Spaulding. Moving to New York in 1958 at the age of 20, he quickly found work playing working with artists like Philly Joe Jones, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, J.J. Johnson, and Eric Dolphy. His debut album, Open Sesame, was released on Blue Note Records in 1960. With his meteoric rise to fame he recorded a series of outstanding albums in quick succession on Blue Note. In late 1961 he replaced Lee Morgan in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and stayed with Blakey until 1964, recording a number of albums with The Messengers. He was also featured on four groundbreaking early 1960s recording sessions: Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz, Oliver Nelson's Blues and the Abstract Truth, Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch, and John Coltrane's Ascension. Included in this podcast are his first recordings as a band leader.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
One Finger SnapFreddie Hubbard/Herbie HancockEmpyrean Isles1964
LocomotionLee Morgan/John ColtraneBlue Train1957
MilestonesBooker Little/Max RoachBooker Little 41958
All of Nothing at AllFreddie HubbardOpen Sesame1960
Open SesameFreddie HubbardOpen Sesame1960
But BeautifulFreddie HubbardOpen Sesame1960
ByrdlikeFreddie HubbardReady for Freddie1961
Hub TonesFreddie HubbardHub Tones1962

Freddie Hubbard - Episode 2

On this podcast I will highlight some of his best work from the early to mid-1960’s as a sideman. His performances on these recordings set a high benchmark for all subsequent trumpet players. In the 1960’s Freddie recorded or performed with almost every important jazz artist on the scene. His greatest popular success came in the 1970’s with a series of crossover albums on Atlantic and CTI Records. His early 1970’s jazz albums for CTI, Red Clay, First Light, and Straight Life were particularly well received and First Light won a Grammy Award.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Stolen MomentsFreddie Hubbard/Oliver NelsonBlues and Abstract Truth1961
Hoe DownFreddie Hubbard/Oliver NelsonBlues and Abstract Truth1961
It’s You or No OneFreddie Hubbard/Dexter GordonDoin’ Allright1961
CaravanFreddie Hubbard/Art BlakeyCaravan1962
SkylarkFreddie Hubbard/Art BlakeyCaravan1962
Eye of the HurricaneFreddie Hubbard/Herbie HancockMaiden Voyage1965
One Finger SnapFreddie Hubbard/Herbie HancockEmpyrean Isles1964
Wild FlowerFreddie Hubbard/Wayne ShorterSpeak No Evil1964