Ken Peplowski

And Heaven Too: Live in the U.K. Vol. 2

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This is the second half of a 1999 concert led by Ken Peplowski with an all English rhythm section at the Concorde Club; like the earlier volume, it is warmly recommended. The seasoned leader, who plays with pianist John Pearce, bassist Dave Green, and drummer Martin Drew only during his semi-annual trips to Great Britain, makes it sound like they are old hands at working together. He sticks to tenor sax during the first portion of the second set, starting with a hard-driving interpretation of "Changes" and following it up with the bittersweet samba "Pra Dizer Adeus" (which he translates as "To Say Goodbye") and Antonio Carlos Jobim's stirring bossa nova "Favela." He sits out "You and the Night and the Music" in order to spotlight his excellent rhythm section, then returns on clarinet for a swinging series of standards, including a subtle "Blue Room" and a warm take of Duke Ellington's gorgeous ballad "Don't You Know I Care." Peplowski is easily among the best players of his generation on both tenor sax and clarinet, because of his wide range of musical interests and consummate abilities as a soloist (never taking excessive choruses or resorting to needless showboating). Like all of his earlier recordings, this live date should be considered essential listening for jazz fans.

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