158

Ken Peplowski: In Search Of ...

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Ken Peplowski: In Search Of ... The splenetic and hard-nosed clarinetist/bandleader Benny Goodman 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 Orchestra, under the baton of Buddy Morrow, and studied with saxophonist Sonny Stitt, 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-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).

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Capri Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "The Big Shake-Up" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Shake-Up
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "Illogical Harmonies with D’Incise" CD/LP/Track Review Illogical Harmonies with D’Incise
by John Eyles
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke" CD/LP/Track Review A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 9, 2016
Read "Electric Ascension" CD/LP/Track Review Electric Ascension
by John Sharpe
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Rub Out The Word" CD/LP/Track Review Rub Out The Word
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!