Johnny Varro: Two Legends of Jazz (2009)
Two Legends of Jazz brings the two swing stalwarts together for the first time (along with the like-minded rhythm section of Frank Tate on bass and Joe Ascione on drums) for a thoroughly enjoyable set of well-chosen standards. Peplowski showcases his gorgeous, almost saxophone-like tone on clarinet on "The Touch of Your Lips" and the bossa nova number "Menina Flor." Varro is especially effective on a duet version of "It's Easy to Remember" and a solo take on "You're a Sweetheart," both of which highlight his light touch and considerable stride piano skills. While this is mostly a relaxed, low-key affair, the full quartet swings hard on a handful of selections, notably "Secret Love" and "Out of Nowhere."
If swing is your thing, Varro and Peplowski are about as good as it gets.
Track Listing: My Baby Just Cares For Me; The Touch of Your Lips; Menina Flor; After I Say I'm Sorry (What Can I Say?); It's Easy to Remember; A Smooth One; Bluesette; You're a Sweetheart; Secret Love; Out of Nowhere; Love Locked Out; I Love You; Someday You
Personnel: Johnny Varro: piano; Ken Peplowski: clarinet; Frank Tate: bass; Joe Ascione: drums.
Record Label: Arbors Records
Style: Dixieland/New Orleans/Swing