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Camp Songs

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Album Review

Here, New York City-based modern jazz drummer Ben Perowsky reworks prayer songs that he learned as a child while attending summer camp in upstate New York. Ultimately, the trio featuring pianist Uri Caine and bassist Drew Gress rearranges these sacred songs — sans two originals by Perowsky — into a series of loosely performed jazz works, as the band's hip outlook surfaces quite nicely via driving swing vamps intermingled with freely organized exchanges, boogie-blues, and more. No doubt, Perowsky possesses laudable chops amid his lyrically charged sense of swing and power rolls. However, this set comes across as a cohesive group effort, founded upon the drummer's take on Jewish prayer tunes. Many of these pieces are constructed upon airy soundscapes and fragmented themes, enhanced by Perowsky's multi-hued cymbal swashes and Caine's extraordinary improvisational abilities. With the piece titled "Birkat Hamazon," the drummer enlists a vocal duo for a delicately orchestrated jazz groove marked by Brazilian samba and Jewish traditionalism. A delightful listening experience indeed.


Born: 1966 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Jazz drummer Ben Perowsky was born and raised in New York City; as a teen he played behind his father, bop saxophonist Frank Perowsky, before moving on to back everyone from Roy Ayers to James Moody to Rickie Lee Jones. An alumnus of the Lounge Lizards, during the mid-'80s Perowsky also co-founded the avant-fusion combo Lost Tribe, later expanding into indie rock (the Elysian Fields) and electronica (Liminal); in 1997, he formed the Ben Perowsky Trio with tenor saxophonist Chris Speed and bassist...
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Camp Songs, Ben Perowsky
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