Review ~

 Warren Vache' is my hero, but not because he plays trumpet. He's my hero because he plays trumpet with integrity, talent and warmth in a style that is romantic, passionate and reflective of players 50 years ago. Having said all that, Warren needs to eat, and so this page is designed to help him play more and therefore eat as often as he wants. 

On one of his most recent alblums, the beautiful duo release with Bill Charlap on Nagel-Heyer, Warren shows more of the stuff that made him a first call player with folks like Rosemary Clooney, Gerry Mulligan, the Floating Jazz Festival and a successful recording artist for Concord Records, Muse and now Nagel-Heyer. Don't be fooled by Warren's preference for the cornet as his instrument of choice. He merely likes the sound it produces -- "rounded like an egg" in comparison with the edgier sound of the trumpet. His flugelhorn playing also produces winning results, and Warren actually turned me on to a Conn Vintage One Flugelhorn that he recommends highly.

A big influence on Warren's playing was his friend and teacher Pee Wee Erwin. Erwin played with Benny Goodman just before he hit the big time, and then was with Tommy Dorsey's orchestra and the small group - The Clambake Seven - with some pretty fair musicians like tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman, Davey Tough on drums, and the Sentimental Gentleman himself on trombone. Tommy favored the trumpet as his jazz instrument, and so his selection of Erwin for both his big band and the smaller jazz unit was high praise. Listening to Erwin, you can hear the basis of Warren's style, but Warren takes Erwin forward into bebop and the 21st century harmony and phrasing with a more adventurous, yet mainstream approach. Without making too big a fuss about technique, Warren is as solid a player as you can find today, and his recordings do not disappoint.

Another CD of Warren's that is slightly different from previous outings is "New York Swing". This CD was clearly an attempt to capitalize on the swing dance craze of several years ago, and that's a great place to start. What impressed me most was Warren's sense of humor and singing, which I could not fully appreciate until I heard him live at about the time the CD was released (May 2000). There is a lot of tongue in cheek humor here, but Warren pokes fun at himself as much as anyone, and his singing voice reminds me of Jack Sheldon doing Louis Prima, and how bad can that be? The whole outing has a Prima-esque feel to it, which certainly tells you how much swing to expect.


The biggest problem for traditional jazz performers is how to avoid a sedate nostalgic rut. And this informal concert had many moments when the musicians seemed content to run through old favorites with a breezy fluency that couldn't conceal a lack of commitment. But there were also flashes of excitement, especially in the bright, exuberant playing of Mr. Vache.
STEPHEN HOLDEN (The New York Times)

the cornetist Warren Vache, performed a sedate, orderly set, whose carefully measured...reliability sweetened by the rich honied vibrato of Mr. Vache's cornet solos.
STEPHEN HOLDEN (The New York Times)

It was the instrumentalists, however, who kept the evening going. Warren Vache, whose trumpet and cornet provided subtle and provocative color in support of the singers as a member of an excellent five-piece band led by Dick Hyman, created cornet solos on ''Stormy Weather'' and ''A Sleepin' Bee'' that combined a gorgeously warm tone with a keen sensitivity for Mr. Arlen's music.
JOHN S. WILSON (The New York Times)

 The memorable highlights are Mr. Vache's dazzling cornet explosion on ''You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To,'' Mr. Hinton's bass development of ''Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho'' and ''Blue Creek,''
JOHN S. WILSON (The New York Times)

Most notably Warren Vache, the cornetist who adds rough-toned vitality to the brass section
JOHN S. WILSON (The New York Times)