The Hot Sardines [Tracklist follows] – Decca Ken Peplowski – Maybe September [TrackList follows] – Capri

by | Oct 17, 2014 | Jazz CD Reviews

The Hot Sardines [TrackList follows] – Decca B0021596-02 [10/7/14] ****:

Ken Peplowski – Maybe September [TrackList follows] – Capri Records 74125-2 ****:

(Miz Elizabeth Boucerol – vocals, washboard, tamborine; Evan Bibs Palazzo – band leader, piano, accordion, B/G vocals; Jason Prover – trumpet; Nick Myers – tenor sax, clarinet, flute; Joe McDonough – trombone; Alex Raderman – drums, percussion; Evan Suger Crane – bass, sousaphone; Sam Fez Raderman – guitar, banjo; Fast Eddy Francisco – tap dancing; Guests: Dave Eggar – cello on 2 tracks; Entcho Todorov – violin on “Wake Up in Paris”)

(Ken Peplowski – clarinet, tenor sax; Ted Rosenthal – piano; Martin Wind – bass; Matt Wilson – drums)

Music from another era but not stuck in traditional jazz jelly. This is the second big disc from The Hot Sardines, a musical magic octet (usually) who use a leader and stride piano player in the Fats Waller style, plus a hot brass section and swinging rhythm section.  The several vocals come from their one female member, who sings in both French and English. Her rendition of Fats Waller’s “Your Feets Too Big” is a knockout – almost as good as Fats’ original. Evan Palazzo and Miz Boucerol are evidently a pair and the founders of the hot group, which mixes sounds from New York, Paris, and New Orleans during the Prohibition era and going thru WWII and slightly beyond.  Great fun!


1. Bei Mir Bis Du Schoen
2. Goin’ Crazy With The Blues
3. Wake Up In Paris
4. Zazou
5. I Can t Give You Anything But Love
6. Your Feets Too Big
7. Honeysuckle Rose
8. Petite Fleur
9. What A Little Moonlight Can Do
10. Let’s Go
11. (I Don’t Stand) A Ghost Of A Chance With You


Sorry to have sat on this fun Ken Peplowski CD from 2013, but I was among other things looking for another somewhat traditional jazz effort I could pair it with. And here it is.  Actually, I would call it mainstream with some trad-jazz influences. He’s a terrific reeds player and even has done serious classical clarinet and piano works during the mostly jazz series he directs at the Shedd Auditorium in Eugene, OR.  Turns out he recorded this entire CD in just around three hours in New York City (and this quartet is his working group in that city), not being one of those multiple-take performers.

The 11 tracks cover mostly rather sad songs from The Great American Songbook, but instrumentally. There is one original by Peplowski himself, and one rare Ellington number (“Main Stem”). There’s  also Brian Wilson’s “Caroline, No.”  In the middle is an example of one those classical numbers: the Romanza from Poulenc’s Clarinet Sonata.  A most enjoyable CD.


All Alone (By the Telephone); Moon Ray; Always a Bridesmaid; (Now and Then There’s) A Fool Such as I; Romanza; Caroline, No; For No One; I’ll String Along with You; Main Stem; Without Her.

—John Henry

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