Ken Peplowski: In Search Of ... (2011)
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-ish tone on tenor. Shelly Berg, the pianist on the first nine numbers, displays a clean, restrained and tasty touch, similar to that of Hank Jones, and he also contributes a couple of strikingly lovely tunes: "In Flower," an homage to Duke Ellington's partner, Billy Strayhorn; 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 tune from The Beatles' 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