Kenny Davern

The Jazz KENnection

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

Clarinetist Kenny Davern and alto saxophonist Ken Peplowski (heard on his third reed for the first time since his CD Illuminations, recorded ten years prior to this session) join forces for an inspired small-group date with a very capable rhythm section consisting of Howard Alden, John Bunch, Greg Cohen, and Tony DeNicola. The material mixes classic jazz and swing, from the very familiar "Georgia on My Mind" and "Creole Love Call" to less frequently heard gems like Sharkey Bonano's "I'm Satisfied With My Gal" and W.C. Handy's "Careless Love." What makes this recording special is the intuitive interplay between the two leaders, as they feed off one another's improvisations and provide inventive backing behind each other's solos, as well as their lyrical playing. Davern is used to excelling with another reed player who doubles on his instrument, as his many recordings with Bob Wilber will attest. Although Peplowski has become better known as a tenor saxophonist and clarinetist, he shows that he hasn't lost a bit of his chops on his other horn, which many folks wrongly assumed he had given up for good. He switches to clarinet to join Davern on a snappy run through James P. Johnson's "A Porter's Love Song to a Chambermaid." Alden, a frequent collaborator on recording dates with each of the leaders, demonstrates why he is one of the most in-demand guitarists of his generation. Bunch, the senior member of the band, consistently provides the perfect accompaniment and many fine solos. Both Cohen and DeNicola are veterans of several previous recordings led by Davern, for obvious reasons. Masterful releases such as this one are few and far between, so it is highly recommended to fans of classic jazz and swing.

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