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Ken Peplowski
Enrapture (February 19, 2016)

Ken Peplowski — Enrapture (February 19, 2016)

             Ken Peplowski — Enrapture (February 19, 2016) Ken Peplowski — Enrapture (February 19, 2016)♠   One of the top clarinetists of the 1990s and a very talented tenor player, Ken Peplowski has helped keep the tradition of small–group swing (and occasionally Dixieland) alive.
♠   According to Ken Peplowski, the quartet on ‘Enrapture’ is the best group he’s ever worked with. ‘It’s a joy to be able to go in any direction you want to go in musically, and know that everyone will just fall in with you. Almost every song was made in one take. We really felt that we captured the spontaneity of a ‘live’ performance on what were some challenging pieces of music. This is the culmination of sifting through a year’s worth of material that best highlights this band. We played as many live performances as we could leading up to the recording date. I care deeply about these songs and hope I’ve successfully conveyed that to the listeners.’Born: May 23, 1959 in Cleveland, OH
Location: New York, NY
Album release: February 19, 2016
Recording date: February 24, 2015
Record Label: Capri Records |
Style: Straight–ahead/Mainstream
Duration:     53:05
01 The Flaming Sword     6:35
02 An Affair To Remember     5:16
03 Oh, My Love     2:25
04 Cheer Up, Charlie     5:16
05 I’ll Follow My Secret Heart     4:03
06 Enrapture     4:43
07 Twelve     5:39
08 Vertigo Scene D’Amour/Madeleine (Love Music From “Vertigo”) 6:52
09 When October Goes     4:41
10 Willow Tree     7:35
Written by:
•   Duke Ellington     1
•   Harold Adamson / Leo McCarey / Harry Warren     2
•   John Lennon / Yoko Ono     3
•   Leslie Bricusse / Anthony Newley     4
•   Noël Coward     5
•   Herbie Nichols     6
•   Peter Erskine     7
•   Jeff Alexander / Bernard Herrmann / Larry Orenstein     8
•   Barry Manilow / Johnny Mercer     9
•   Andy Razaf / Fats Waller     10Credits:
•   Harold Adamson Composer
•   Jeff Alexander Composer
•   Ehud Asherie Piano
•   Leslie Bricusse Composer
•   Thomas Burns Producer
•   Noël Coward Composer
•   Duke Ellington Composer
•   Peter Erskine Composer
•   David Glasser Mastering
•   Bernard Herrmann Composer
•   John Lennon Composer
•   Barry Manilow Composer
•   Leo McCarey Composer
•   Des McMahon Cover Photo
•   Johnny Mercer Composer
•   Anthony Newley Composer
•   Herbie Nichols Composer
•   Yoko Ono Composer
•   Larry Orenstein Composer
•   Ken Peplowski Clarinet, Liner Notes, Primary Artist, Producer, Sax (Tenor)
•   Andy Razaf Composer
•   Chris Sulit Engineer
•   Fats Waller Composer
•   Harry Warren Composer
•   Matt Wilson Drums, Percussion
•   Martin Wind Bass
By DAN BILAWSKY, Published: February 4, 2016;  Score: ****½
♠   How on earth do you successfully bind the music of Duke Ellington, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Fats Waller, Herbie Nichols, Bernard Herrmann, Peter Erskine, and Noël Coward into one coherent statement? The answer is simple: You don’t, unless you’re Ken Peplowski. Over the course of ten tracks from the aforementioned composers and other well–known tunesmiths, Peplowski manages to simultaneously express his love of myriad sounds and styles, a fondness for days gone by, and an ability to move ever onward. This much–heralded reed man wears his eclecticism like a badge of honor on Enrapture, an album that speaks to his ability to dig into the past while also addressing his outlook on the present.
♠   In his liner essay for this project, Peplowski remarks on the true–to–self nature of this quartet recording, noting that “this is us, in as close to a live setting as one could ask for in a recording environment.” In keeping with that statement, the majority of the performances captured here are first takes. The decision to work that way proves to be a smart play, as the band is able to capitalize on the energy, spontaneity, and attentiveness that can only exist on the first pass of a song. Peplowski also shows himself to be practiced in the art of sequencing songs, shrewdly playing to diverse tastes and the constant need for mood change–ups.
♠   In lesser hands, the idea of knocking out a slew of songs in short order and moving all over the map could be disastrous, but it’s a winning formula for this foursome — Peplowski’s working quartet, with pianist Ehud Asherie, bassist Martin Wind, and drummer Matt Wilson. This band sounds like a million bucks all the way through, from the reveille–like kick–off at the top of “The Flaming Sword”—an adrenaline–fueled slice of tropically–infused Ellingtonian exotica — to the easy–does–it, bluesy send–off of “Willow Tree.” And rest assured, there’s plenty to enjoy and admire in between those bookends. Peplowski’s inviting tenor pleasantly glides along on “An Affair To Remember,” Wind’s bass and Peplowski’s clarinet engage in a slow and revealing pas de deux on “Oh, My Love,” Erskine's “Twelve” gives the band a chance to pull at the threads of convention and take a looser and more interactive approach to group (inter) play, and the slowly unfolding beauty and drama of “Vertigo Scene D’Amour/Madeleine (Love Music From “Vertigo”)” highlights the emotional experiences of the protagonist in Hitchcock’s classic film. All the in–studio discussions, extra takes, and edits in the world couldn’t produce a better outcome than what these four did in the heat of the moment(s) to create Enrapture. ♠   http://www.allaboutjazz.com/

Ken Peplowski
Enrapture (February 19, 2016)


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