Ken Peplowski

Concord Duo Series, Vol. 3

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Clarinetist Ken Peplowski and guitarist Howard Alden have a rare musical E.S.P. that enables them to weave intricate lines around each other as they soar through a great mix of overlooked standards and older jazz works on this live date. Peplowski's lyricism is stimulated by Alden's seemingly endless variations on "Blue Room," and the duo transforms "In the Dark" from a piano solo into an impressionist suite for their two instruments. But it is the spirited version of "Chasin' the Bird," complete with Peplowski's whimsical pun-filled introduction, that displays the depth of their playing. There is no loss of momentum when Peplowski switches to tenor sax. His vibrato-filled approach to "Changes" is reminiscent of Coleman Hawkins, while "S'posin'" highlights Alden's imaginative lines. The guitarist winds up the concert with stride-like guitar on "Just One of Those Things," which drives his partner's clarinet to a sizzling climax.

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