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NY drummer Perowsky's Quartet with Chris Speed, Drew Gress and Ted Reichman in an eclectic set of original compositions alongside Geroge Harrison, Beatles and Hendrix tracks.

Perowsky, Ben
Esopus Opus

Perowsky, Ben: Esopus Opus (Skirl)
Label: Skirl    
Released in: USA    

"[...] An artist with eclectic interests, the debut of Perowsky's new quartet, Esopus Opus, features myriad genres-from classic rock covers and Brazilian favorites to his own mercurial originals. Interestingly, Perowsky's group inadvertently mirrors fellow percussionist John Hollenbeck's flagship ensemble, the Claudia Quintet. Both line-ups feature Chris Speed (clarinet, tenor saxophone), Ted Reichman (accordion), and Drew Gress (bass), with Hollenbeck's Quintet adding vibraphonist Matt Moran to the mix.

Despite similarities in personnel, Perowsky approaches writing for the same basic instrumentation from a different angle, drawing deeper from folk forms and popular music than Hollenbeck, whose more formal approach embraces aspects of neo-classicism and minimalism. Like two sides of the same coin, Perowsky uses a similar palette to obtain different results; his appealingly ragged tunes are more akin to punk rock than classical music.


Beyond the catchy tunes, the record's lasting appeal rests in the stellar capabilities of Perowsky's veteran sidemen. Gress' subterranean bottom end complements the leader's percussive thrashings with machine-like precision while Reichman's rich chordal voicings lend an exotic air; his sonorous pedal tones provide the group with a vast, expansive sound. Playing clarinet for the majority of the session, Speed delivers a number of breathtaking statements, most notably on the Coltrane-esque "Present Distance," which features a lengthy, unfettered tenor solo-something one rarely hears on his own records.

A compelling statement from an up and coming new voice, Esopus Opus is a raw, enthusiastic exploration of the endless possibilities of contemporary music."-Troy Collins, All About Jazz

"One of the most accomplished drummers of his generation, Ben Perowsky's notable career has placed him among a small vanguard of players able to move between jazz, experimental music and cutting edge pop and rock. Ben began his early performing life with jazz legend James Moody, pop songstress Rickie Lee Jones and R&B star Roy Ayers. He went on to tour and record with Miles Davis' sidemen Bob Berg, Mike Stern and later John Scofield. Ben has collaborated with numerous artists since then including Elysian Fields, Joan as Policewoman, Uri Caine, Steven Bernstein, John Zorn, Ronnie Cuber, Dave Douglas, Walter Becker and John Lurie's Lounge Lizards.

Amidst his busy sideman/recording career, Ben created and co-led the band Lost Tribe who released three critically acclaimed records. He released Ben Perowsky Trio on his fathers label JazzKey Music, LTD in 1999 from which the title Segment was used in the Will Farrel movie Talegega Nights. In 2003 he released Camp Songs for John Zorn's Tzadik label. In 2006 Ben created his own label, El Destructo Records with two releases to date: El Destructo: Volume I, a blending of dark ambient dub improv and El Destructo: Volume II Moodswing Orchestra which expands on this idea, adding 4 more instrumentalists and 5 well-known vocalists. Also in '06 Ben formed the Red Cred Quartet with Chris Speed, John Medeski and Larry Grenadier. They meet regularly in the Catskill mountains to play concerts. In 2007 Ben played on the disco hit song "Blind" by Hercules and Love Affair. Inspired, Ben introduced Diva, a disco inflected roaming, improvised dance party built for chance special guests. In the Spring of 2009 The Ben Perowsky Quartet: Chris Speed, Ted Reichman and Drew Gress released a CD entitled Esopus Opus featuring Ben's latest compositions and arrangements on Skirl records."-Ben Perowsky Website

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Quartet Recordings

Get additional information at All About Jazz

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Price: $12.00
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 3.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 884501185882

Label: Skirl
Catalog ID: Skirl 011
Squidco Product Code: 11671

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2009
Country: USA
Packaging: DVD Digipack
Recorded by Andy Taub at Brooklyn Recording, March 2008.


Chris Speed-tenor saxophone, clarinet

Ben Perowsky-drums

Drew Gress-bass

Ted Reichman-accordion

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Track Listing:

1. Keylime 4:18

2. Manic Depression 3:52

3. Within You Without You 5:46

4. Esopus Opus 2:52

5. Perolas 5:22

6. Nem Um Talvez 3:42

7. Flying 3:29

8. Murnau On The Bayou 6:32

9. Present Distance 5:52

10. Red Hook 7:27