Ken Peplowski - Enrapture
(Capri Records 74141-2. CD Review by Frank Griffith)
Cleveland (USA)-born clarinettist and saxophonist, Ken Peplowski's latest CD, "Enrapture", is a vivid aural snapshot of a band ready and eager to be documented. Joined by Israeli-born pianist Ehud Asherie, bassist Martin Wind, and Matt Wilson, drums these four virtuosi blend seamlessly as a unified and responsive ensemble. They are given plenty of room to display skills that have shored up each of their individual reputations.
Viewed by many as the premier clarinettist on the scene today, "Peps" possesses an uncanny command of the instrument that refuses to fall prey to its difficult breaks in different registers. His warm and glowing tone is full of romanticism while his fluid and light-fingered technique can negotiate through any tempo. A good example of this is on the opening track , The Flaming Sword, a rarely heard Ellington opus which provides a calypso-driven springboard for the leader's bounding clarinet at speed.
Most remarkable about this recording is Peplowski's wide ranging choice of surprising and effective material all the way from the Newley/Bricusse song Cheer Up Charlie from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Barry Manilow's When October Goes and John Lennon's Oh My Love to post bop era iconoclast Herbie Nicholls' Enrapture and Bernard Herrmann's themes from Hitchcock's film, Vertigo. Not surprisingly, Noel Coward's stately waltz I'll Follow My Secret Heart and a lesser known Harry Warren chestnut, An Affair To Remember find their way into the mix as well.
A rich and varied cornucopia of 20th Century repertoire delivered by a working band and comprised of players as equally broadminded and adept at elegantly weaving amongst jazz styles as the leader is. The release date is 16 February so get your copy now while stocks last.