Umbria Jazz Winter in Orvieto 2006-2007
Clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Ken Peplowski brought a bi-coastal American group of three from the East (guitarist Howard Alden, pianist Ted Rosenthal, and himself) and two from the West (drummer Joe La Barbera and bassist Chuck Berghofer from L.A.). With two time slots each day to perform at the Palazzo Dei Sette (aka "The Meeting Point"), the sextet played straight-ahead swinging selections such as Cannonball Adderley's "Wabash" (featuring the leader on both reeds) and "Pow Wow" (guitarist Joe Puma's composition which borrows from the changes and song title of the better-known "Cherokee"). Peplowski is a fine player on both instruments, but he particularly shines on clarinet, and one afternoon's encore of an untitled blues in F showcased what a well- versed giant on the instrument he has been for several decades. Now he's the logical inheritor to the instrument's well-documented heritage, which most recently lost one of its greatest practitioners in the legendary Kenny Davern.