All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

4

Ken Peplowski: Maybe September

Dr. Judith Schlesinger By

Sign in to view read count
In a world where celebrities are anointed and dismissed by the shifting whims of the Twitterverse, it's easy to overlook the steady fires that keep the old traditions burning. The retro cover of Maybe September instantly signals that, once again, the ever-superb reedist Ken Peplowski, aided by the invaluable Capri Record label, will be honoring and extending these traditions. But it's not just a matter of blowing the dust off forgotten antiques: he makes splendid and tasteful music out of any material, whatever its original era and style.

The result is a record that comfortably embraces a serene classical sonata (Poulenc); the indelible American Songbook (Irving Berlin, Harry Warren, Duke Ellington); a famous clarinet blowfest (Artie Shaw); and a variety of beloved pop music icons (The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Brian Wilson, Harry Nilsson). The word "eclectic" comes to mind, but Peplowski is more selective than that: he's on a deliberate hunt for excellence, wherever and whenever it may appear. His art is melding such disparate elements together into a smooth and timeless whole.

As part of Peplowski's "warts-and-all" approach to this music, he recorded Maybe September live to two-track, using a rare historic microphone to give a singular quality to his sound. The level of musicianship here is extraordinary, since these are all first-call players and leaders in their own right. They are also good friends who are clearly enjoying this relaxed and ego-free zone. All told, it's no surprise that it took just three hours to record the whole CD.

The mood is set with the languorous opener, Berlin's plaintive "All Alone (By the Telephone)." CDs rarely open with ballads, and certainly not one from 1924. But this mix makes its own rules, serving up "Fool on the Hill" together with tributes to The Beach Boys and Dukes. Drummer Matt Wilson has a star turn on Peplowski's own "Always a Bridesmaid," which sparkles with humor all around. Bassist Martin Wind contributes a masterful combination of pulse and melody, laced with his own signature flashes of wit. Pianist Ted Rosenthal supplies consistently elegant underpinnings and commentary, coming out front on "I'll String Along with You," and anchoring its easy-going, loping swing.

The CD highlight is the glorious title track, which could be the most beautiful version of "Maybe September" ever recorded (at least for instrumentals; it will always be hard to top Tony Bennett singing with pianist Bill Evans). But there's no question that this is a thoroughly excellent CD, with Peplowski & Co. playing so eloquently that they're practically verbal.

Track Listing: All Alone (By the Telephone); Moon Ray; Always a Bridesmaid; (Now and Then There’s) A Fool Such as I; Romanza; Caroline, No; For No One; I’ll String Along with You; Main Stem; Without Her.

Personnel: Ken Peplowski: clarinet, tenor saxophone; Ted Rosenthal, piano; Martin Wind, bass; Matt Wilson, drums.

Title: Maybe September | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Capri Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Enrapture

Enrapture

Ken Peplowski
Enrapture

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Sunrise

Sunrise

Arbors Records
2018

buy
Enrapture

Enrapture

Capri Records
2016

buy
Maybe September

Maybe September

Capri Records
2014

buy
Maybe September

Maybe September

Capri Records
2013

buy
In Search Of ...

In Search Of ...

Capri Records
2011

buy
Noir Blue

Noir Blue

Capri Records
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Postcard Collection CD/LP/Track Review
Postcard Collection
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Der Dichter Spricht CD/LP/Track Review
Der Dichter Spricht
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Dodecahedron CD/LP/Track Review
Dodecahedron
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 21, 2018
Read The Chopin Project CD/LP/Track Review
The Chopin Project
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Walk The Walk CD/LP/Track Review
Walk The Walk
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Grime Scene CD/LP/Track Review
Grime Scene
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2018
Read "Twio" CD/LP/Track Review Twio
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 9, 2018
Read "Bright Force" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Force
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "The Better Angels of Our Nature" CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Fountain Of Youth" CD/LP/Track Review Fountain Of Youth
by David A. Orthmann
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "Unfamiliar Surroundings" CD/LP/Track Review Unfamiliar Surroundings
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 10, 2017
Read "A Humdrum Star" CD/LP/Track Review A Humdrum Star
by Phil Barnes
Published: February 8, 2018