Ken Peplowski: In Search Of ... (2011)

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Ken Peplowski: In Search Of ...
The splenetic and hard-nosed clarinetist/bandleader Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
1909 - 1986
clarinet
admired tenor saxophonist Ken Peplowski enough to hire the younger musician on for his last performing band, during the mid-1980s. But the Cleveland, Ohio-born and bred Peplowski's main ax was, in fact, the clarinet. He spent a good part of his early career playing in Polish polka bands, and hiring on to play whatever other music jobs that were available. He eventually joined the Tommy Dorsey
Tommy Dorsey
Tommy Dorsey
1905 - 1956
trombone
Orchestra, under the baton of Buddy Morrow
Buddy Morrow
Buddy Morrow
1919 - 2010
trombone
, and studied with saxophonist Sonny Stitt
Sonny Stitt
Sonny Stitt
1924 - 1982
saxophone
, before taking the Goodman job, going on to team with labels including Concord, Nagel-Heyer and Capri, putting out more than thirty albums as a leader, including the marvelous Noir Blue (Capri, 2010).

In Search Of ... finds Peplowski in a beautifully laidback, often swinging quartet setting with two first-rate groups, class acts both. The cool refinement and musicianship are of the highest order, with Peplowski as smooth and mellifluous as they come on clarinet, and possessing a very mellow, Ben Webster
Ben Webster
Ben Webster
1909 - 1973
sax, tenor
-ish tone on tenor. Shelly Berg
Shelly Berg
Shelly Berg

piano
, the pianist on the first nine numbers, displays a clean, restrained and tasty touch, similar to that of Hank Jones
Hank Jones
Hank Jones
1918 - 2010
piano
, and he also contributes a couple of strikingly lovely tunes: "In Flower," an homage to Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
1899 - 1974
piano
's partner, Billy Strayhorn
Billy Strayhorn
Billy Strayhorn
1915 - 1967
piano
; and "Peps"—for Peplowski, of course.

"A Ship Without a Sail," an obscure Rodgers and Hart tune, floats along with subtle grace, while Rodgers and Hammerstein's "This Nearly Was Mine" is pensive, suffused with a feeling of lonely regret.

"No Regrets" introduces three numbers from the second recording session. A duet with bassist Greg Cohen is bouncy and upbeat, with Peplowski swinging with zest on tenor. "Within You Without You," a George Harrison
George Harrison
George Harrison
1943 - 2001
guitar
tune from The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles

band/orchestra
' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Capitol, 1967), lends a haunting, Eastern mood, while "Rum and Coca Cola," referencing Professor Longhair's version of the song, ends the set on a loose-limbed New Orleans note.

Track Listing: The Thespian; Love's Disguise; When Joanna Loved Me; False Baiana; A Ship Without a Sail; With Every Breath I Take; In Flower; Peps; This Nearly Was Mine; No Regrets; Within You Without You; Rum and Coca Cola.

Personnel: Ken Peplowski: tenor saxophone and clarinet; Shelly Berg: piano (1-9); Tom Kennedy: bass (1-9); Jeff Hamilton: drums (1-9); Greg Cohen: bass (10-11); Joe Ascione: percussion, drums (11-12); Chuck Redd: vibraphone (11).

Record Label: Capri Records


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