Daniel Sadownick: Softly, As In a Morning Sunrise


Softly, As In a Morning Sunrise


Daniel Sadownick (percussion)


There Will Be A Day (In Time Records)

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Daniel Sadownick (percussion),

Joe Magnarelli (trumpet), Michael Karn (tenor), Rob Bargad (piano), Scott Colley (bass), Daniel Freedman (drums)


Composed by Sigmund Romberg & Oscar Hammerstein II


Recorded: New York, date unknown; released September 2008


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

The appealing strong melody and rhythm of "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise" has attracted countless jazz artists since it was introduced in the 1928 Broadway musical New Moon. The lyrics are both hopeful and portentous, a dichotomy that is also conveyed in the music. Memorable instrumental versions have included those by Artie Shaw, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and Art Pepper, and to that list must be added this fresh new interpretation by relatively unknown percussionist Daniel Sadownick on his debut CD.

Sadownick's spirited and creative arrangement is what makes this track work so well. Tenor and trumpet play the opening catchy vamp leading up to Michael Karn's swirling fill and an Afro-Cuban rhythmic dialogue between Sadownick, drummer Daniel Freedman and bassist Scott Colley. Pianist Rob Bargad enters with forceful spaced-out chords, followed by the horns' theme reading offered with a provocative rhythmic slant. Bargad's solo is a Latinized modal romp, shades of Eddie Palmieri at his best. Karn's tenor explodes out of the box with a relentless urgency, backed by the driving Sadownick and Freedman. Trumpeter Joe Magnarelli's mellow take slows the tempo but is no less insinuating. Sadownick shows his infectious skill on congas, framed by the vamping horns, and Magnarelli unearths the theme over yet another delightful vamp to complete the cycle.

Daniel Sadownick has definitely got his act together, a percussionist carrying on the tradition of Mongo Santamaria and Ray Barretto.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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