Tenor sax is Eric Daniel’s voice of choice on Jesus Said. The spiritual anthem showcases some musical banter between Daniel’s tenor Johnson’s vocals and Bruno Marinucci’s guitar.
African influenced Deeper enlists the aid of percussionist Jack Tama behind Dr. Fell-x’s deep and deeper vocal recitation. For the first time on this cd, Old Sax Nu Soul, outlines a more contemporary pop aesthetic. However there is no shortage of improvised alto from Eric Daniel on this tune. The background vocals and lead vocals by Jenny B and Karen Smith give this tune a bit of needed structure that seemed absent from the previous tracks.
Ooh Baby features Daniel on flute and Alex Britti on guitar. It’s another jam for the ensemble without any rough edges. Eric Daniel moves back to his main voice, alto sax for Walkin on Moonlight. Art of Sax (Never Gonna Stop) and Gotham City feature his improvised tenor saxophone.
Jazz Rhythm has Eric quoting I Remember You over a James Brown influenced groove. Acul on vocals helps create the hint of J.B. whether intentional or not. This song seems to have a bit more forward momentum than many of the other compositions here, particularly when it launches into Carlos Sarmiento’s keyboard solo. Lastly, Daniel conjures up soundscapes of Maceo Parker – again maybe intentional and maybe not.
The Flow hosts an infectious groove for Eric Daniel’s soprano. Here and elsewhere I am reminded of Bill Evan’s soprano playing with Miles Davis’ electric band of the 80s. The last track on the recording entitled People lists Eric Daniels as playing tenor on this one. It does sound like an alto to me but possibly could be a tenor in the upper register – whatever the case Daniels has a unique and expressive approach to all the saxophones here on Old Sax Nu Soul.
If you are seeking another cookie-cutter smooth jazz cd, this recording is definitely not what you are looking for. On the other hand, if you are a fan of creative, risk-taking improvised groove music with a message, Old Sax Nu Soul is for you!