2. I Want to be Happy
3. Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You
4. The World is Waiting for the Sunrise
5. Polka Dots and Moonbeams
6. In Your Own Sweet Way
Ken Peplowski - Tenor sax, clarinet
Jesper Thilo - Tenor sax, clarinet, vocals
Thilo Wagner - Piano
Isla Eckinger - Bass
Gregor Beck - Drums
When two tenor-saxophonists
get together, the result is often a battle
- as there was in "The Chase" session between
Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray. But on this
CD, the American reedman Ken Peplowski and
Jesper Thilo (the latter from Denmark) combine
for a friendly session of swinging jazz, co-operating
rather than competing.
The recording was actually
made in April 2002 at the Birdland jazz Club
- not the famous one in New York but the version
in Hamburg. The album is dedicated to Hans
Nagel-Heyer, who sadly died last year. He
and his wife Sabine ran one of the most productive
of all mainstream labels.
Ken and Jesper work well
together, harmonising in the theme statements
and then generally taking separate solos.
This arouses some puzzles, as both men play
tenor saxes on the first and last tracks,
and clarinets on The World is Waiting for
the Sunrise, and the sleeve-note gives
no details of who is playing when. Certainly
it is Peplowski who plays the poignant clarinet
in Polka Dots and Moonbeams but on
other tracks it would be nice to be able to
distinguish more clearly between the players.
You simply have to sit back and enjoy the
uninhibited swing of I Want to be Happy
and The World is Waiting for the Sunrise,
or the imaginative approach to Centerpiece,
which develops into several different tunes.
The rhythm section supplies
sympathetic backing and there are good piano
solos from Thilo Wagner, while Isla Eckinger
and Gregor Beck drive the session along energetically.
The whole quintet sounds, as the album title
suggests, happy together.