Ben Perowsky Quartet

Chris Speed . Clarinet.Tenor
Ted Reichman . Accordian.Piano
Drew Gress . Bass
Ben Perowsky . Drums

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The breadth of Perowsky’s experiences and influences combine on Esopus Opus, his new CD on Skirl Records. The drummer/bandleader brings together Ted Reichman (accordion and keyboards), Chris Speed (clarinet & tenor sax), and Drew Gress (bass) for a set of vivid originals, classic rock cover tunes, and gorgeous Brazilian compositions. Perowsky is undoubtedly best known for his presence on the modern NY jazz scene, a first call drummer for John Zorn, John Scofield, Dave Douglas and Uri Caine. But there have been numerous other Ben Perowskys – the son of a bebop saxophonist, immersed in the gospel of Elvin and Philly Joe from birth; the ‘80s NYC kid, scrawling graffiti and banging out beats on parked cars for rappers on the nascent hip-hop scene; the high school rock skins-basher emulating John Bonham and Keith Moon; the dance party host who still enjoys pounding out disco beats for the enjoyment of sweating, swaying throngs. That mish-mash of interests first found expression in Lost Tribe, the groundbreaking jazz/rock/hip-hop group that Perowsky founded in the late eighties. But that stylistic range is still present on Esopus Opus, albeit in more subtly integrated form. The fluidity is captured by the album’s title, named for a creek in New York’s Catskill Mountains that feeds into the reservoir providing New York City’s drinking water and ends near Perowsky’s home in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. The unique instrumentation of the quartet was inspired by the leader’s desire to play with harmony outside of the over-familiar context of piano or guitar. Esopus Opus offers Ben’s unique voice as a band leader/ arranger/composer in its latest and most compelling incarnation.

“ A Thrilling bandleader with a flair for transforming rock repertory” – Jazztimes

“Ben Perowsky … drummer-composer who drifts in and out of jazz circles. On his absorbingly rugged new album,…he leads a band with the accordionist Ted Reichman, the bassist Drew Gress and the multireedist Chris Speed…. on more knockabout fare, including a swaggering take on “Manic Depression,” by Jimi Hendrix, the band clears its own space, sounding wily and athletic. The playing is sharp, the rapport effortless, and the original tunes, variously busy or bleary, are worth hearing for the commitment they inspire.” –N.Y. Times

One of the more intriguing instrumental combinations you might hear in modern jazz…a unique sound…the sonic footprint of this recording is arresting and compelling. – All Music Guide

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

Ben Perowsky Quartet