Ben Perowsky

Camp Songs

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Here, New York City-based modern jazz drummer Ben Perowsky reworks prayer songs that he learned as a child while attending summer camp in upstate New York. Ultimately, the trio featuring pianist Uri Caine and bassist Drew Gress rearranges these sacred songs -- sans two originals by Perowsky -- into a series of loosely performed jazz works, as the band's hip outlook surfaces quite nicely via driving swing vamps intermingled with freely organized exchanges, boogie-blues, and more. No doubt, Perowsky possesses laudable chops amid his lyrically charged sense of swing and power rolls. However, this set comes across as a cohesive group effort, founded upon the drummer's take on Jewish prayer tunes. Many of these pieces are constructed upon airy soundscapes and fragmented themes, enhanced by Perowsky's multi-hued cymbal swashes and Caine's extraordinary improvisational abilities. With the piece titled "Birkat Hamazon," the drummer enlists a vocal duo for a delicately orchestrated jazz groove marked by Brazilian samba and Jewish traditionalism. A delightful listening experience indeed.

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