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
, 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
' 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).