Howard Alden / Ken Peplowski: Pow-Wow (2007)
The title track (guitarist Joe Puma's tune, based on the changes of Ray Noble's "Cherokee ) starts the CD off in such jumping synchronicity that Alden's guitar and Peplowski's tenor sax seem to be a multi-voiced single instrument. Another high point, "Did I Remember?, is a gem which Billie Holiday sang on her first recording date. For this nostalgic tune Peplowski switches over to clarinet, and together he and Alden conclude it with a burst of especially exhilarating improvisation.
On Duke Ellington's rarely heard "Who Knows, which is somewhat bop-ish in flavor, Peplowski is again on clarinet as he trades playful licks with Alden. It's followed by "After All, a thoughtful Billy Strayhorn beauty, on which the warmth of Peplowski's clarinet is ever so gently supported by Alden. In playing a set that refreshingly mixes near-classics and lesser known nuggets, they cast a spell as emotionally strong as it is thoroughly modern.
Track Listing: Pow-Wow; Dream Dancing; Did I Remember?; Very Early; Who Knows; After All; Bossango; I See Your Face Before Me; Tempus Fugit; The Land of the Loon; The Things We Did Last Summer; Panama; Lucky To Be Me.
Personnel: Howard Alden: guitar; Ken Peplowski: tenor sax, clarinet.
Record Label: Arbors Records