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Ken Peplowski: Last Swing of the Century

C. Michael Bailey By

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Clarinet Marmalade. Eddie Daniels and Ken Peplowski play the tenor saxophone and the clarinet. They are both better known for the latter than the former. Therefore, it is an occasion when either releases a clarinet-only disc. In the present case of Peplowski, add to this pleasure that he is highlighting the music of the Benny Goodman. This is Clarinet Marmalade indeed.

Topic. Born in 1958, Kenneth Peplowski grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. Influenced by Benny Goodman and Tony Scott, he went on to develop, with Daniels and Don Byron, a distinctive style playing that most difficult mistress, the clarinet. He has recorded many fine discs for Concord Jazz, his most recent being Grenadilla (Concord 4809-2). Here he is captured leading a big band in Japan on a 15 date jaunt in late 1998, including this live recording at the 14th Annual Fujitsu/Concord Jazz Festival at Kan-I Hoken Hall in Tokyo.

Oh, The Music!. Having said all of that, what about the music? It swings from “Let’s Dance” to “Good-Bye”. These are not note-for-note performances, they are purely in the spirit of Goodman with superior sound and the wonderful immediacy that a good live recording always fosters. This is a must for Swing Heads. For all you nouvue swing aficionados, come and listen to the finest performed by the finest. Peps heartfelt hug for Benny Goodman.


Track Listing: Let

Personnel: Ken Peplowski: Clarinet; Conte Condole; Bob Milikan; Randy Sandke: Trumpets; Eddie Bert; Bobby Pring: Trombones; Jack Stuckey; Joe Romano: Alto Saxophones; Rickey Woodward: Tenor Saxophone. Ben Aronov: Piano; Frank Vignola: Guitar; Richard Simon: Bass; Frank Capp: Drums.

Title: Last Swing of the Century | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Concord Music Group

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