Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ken Peplowski, Maybe September

The Ken Peplowski revival that's been going on for several years continues. It's not that he went anywhere so much as he is getting a new appreciation for his quirkily traditional clarinet and tenor sax through a series of applauded albums. Maybe September (Capri 74125-2) gives us another one to like. He is joined by a together group of supporting artists in pianist Ted Rosenthal, bassist Martin Wind and drummer Matt Wilson.

As is the case with Ken's recent endeavors he chooses a very eclectic mix of tunes that suite him and make it all work. So you get Irving Berlin's rather obscure "All Alone by the Telephone", an arranged excerpt from a Poulenc clarinet sonata, Brian Wilson's "Caroline, No" and Lennon-McCartney's "For No One". Oh, and Duke's "Main Stem", too.

Rosenthal is swinging, bluesy, very together post-boppishly and otherwise as the second voice. Matt Wilson plays as nicely as ever and gets some cool solo spots (and all condolences to him and his family on the recent loss of his lovely wife). Martin Wind is there where he needs to be and propulses the swing quite well.

And that's the nuts and bolts of it. What's as always a kick about Ken is that his playing is all his own and coming from a trad period style, yet the band and he can get pretty free and creative in how they present it all.

Ken is an institution by now. This album gives you plenty of clarinet and enough of that tenor of his to delight the ears. Yeah, Ken! Thank you.

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