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Album Review: Live at the Library of Congress
Eddie Daniels and Roger Kellaway
Cover image of the album Live at the Library of Congress by Eddie Daniels and Roger Kellaway
Live at the Library of Congress
Eddie Daniels and Roger Kellaway
2011 / IPO Recordings
58 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Live at The Library of Congress is an incredible album of jazz duets by clarinetist Eddie Daniels and pianist Roger Kellaway, recorded live in concert on 2/25/11. Both artists are virtuosi in classical and pop music as well as jazz, and both have jaw-dropping credentials in virtually all aspects of the music industry - performing and recording together and with others; touring and studio musicians; composers for television, stage, and film; musical directors for the likes of Bobby Darin, Van Morrison and Tony Bennett; and on and on. Both are the recipients of many prestigious awards. This collection of ten pieces, four of which are originals, includes music by The Gershwins, Thelonious Monk, Leonard Bernstein, Steven Sondheim, and a stunning “America the Beautiful.” With such a varied musical palette, this colorful album ranges from sublimely smooth and dreamy to bright and splashy - all with the ease and grace of master musicians.

The album begins with “Strike Up the Band” by George and Ira Gershwin. Beginning playfully and almost teasingly (to each other or the audience?), Daniels introduces the melody in several moods before taking off on a lighthearted jaunt, Kellaway right with him all the way. “Capriccio Twilight” is a Kellaway original that gives both artists plenty of room to stretch out and explore the possibilities of the piece. “Somewhere” from West Side Story is such a familiar song, but this interpretation is as fresh as it is hauntingly beautiful. Thelonious Monk’s “Rhythm-a-ning” is pure fun the first listen, but then it becomes clear just how complex this piece is and what a virtuoso performance it is by both artists. “America the Beautiful” is a very pleasant surprise. It always amazes me when someone can take a song or piece of music that is so ingrained and make you really hear it again. This 6 1/2 minute arrangement contains breathtaking improvisation, returning to the heartfelt melody and making it soar. The medley of Daniels’ “Etude of a Woman” and Stephen Sondheim’s “Pretty Women” is elegant and graceful, with Daniels again demonstrating his mastery of the clarinet while Kellaway’s understated piano provides the perfect partnership. “A Place That You Want To Call Home,” another Kellaway original, is a gorgeous ballad from start to finish, again allowing both artists to soar in their own expressive ways.

Live at The Library of Congress gives jazz aficionados much to sink their musical teeth into in a very enjoyable way. This album will be released on 1/12/2012. Availability will be listed here as we get closer to the release date.
November 26, 2011
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