Warren Vaché and John Allred Quintet - Live in Berne

wv-jubilationWarren Vaché – John Allred Quintet – Live in Berne, Switzerland at Marians Jazzroom: Jubilation - Arbors Records – ARCD 19369, 69:20 **** [Distr. by Allegro]:

 (Warren Vaché, cornet, vocal (tr. 7, 11); John Allred, trombone; Tardo Hammer, piano; Nicki Parrott, bass, vocal (7); Leroy Williams, drums)

 Arbors continues their extensive series of putting together top caliber veteran jazz musicians with crack rhythm sections and letting them loose with well recognizable songs from the Great American Songbook and other well known composers. It’s a recipe for success and Arbors seems to have a patent on the formula. After all it’s a fail-safe proposition for mainstream fans. It provides a sweetness with a sure fire chance for swing and occasional bop to reach an appreciative audience. With Jubilation, Arbors has met expectations with spades.

 Keeping the front line to brass instruments is a winning combination here, as well as mixing two Horace Silver hard bop numbers - Song for My Father and Strollin’


Read more ...

what is there to say? - album reviews

what-is-here-to-sayIn a small group context, Vache's bright and literate trumpet or cornet work gets a little more of the spotlight. This pianoless quartet also showcases the criminally underrated guitarist Joe Puma, the fine-toned bassist Murray Wall, and the veteran drummer Eddie Locke. They collectively epitomize the continuing swing tradition.

 Vache also fancies himself an entertaining singer in the Jack Sheldon tradition. He goes into sly enunciations with Puma's lustrous chords during "Comes Love," tells a tale of being swamped by in-laws for "I'll Never See Maggie Alone," and obviously not diabetic, relates defiance for diets, glorifying gorging in the swinging "Too Phat Blues." Watch your triglycerides Warren! Puma wrote three of the pieces: the sweet, implied bossa/tango "Bossango" sans drums; the "Cherokee"-based, well-swung "Pow Wow"; and the 12-bar original "See Jim/Jane/Joe/C-Jam Blues," which features the guitarist's gliding chords along with Vache's muted horn and traded fours with Locke's brushed drums and cymbals.

The steely-toned Puma makes definitive statements throughout this disc, especially on the forward moving, no-nonsense swinger "At Sundown." It's Vache who takes the bull by the horns for great swing vehicles as "My Shining Hour" and "It's a Blue World," the leader quoting "Seven Come Eleven" and "West End Blues" on the former, dealing a straight flush on the latter. Locke is most inspired and impressive on brushes for "Samantha"; he could write a book, and maybe he should as did Ed Thigpen. There's also the half-speed ballad "Deep in a Dream," the slow ballads "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" and the tenderized guitar-bass duo title cut, and the bass-based swinger "Falling in Love Is Wonderful."

This is a tasty morsel of swing from experts who do it right. Recommended. ~ Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide


dont-look-back Album: Don't Look Back
Artist: Warren Vaché
Release Date: 6/13/2006
Genre: Jazz
Cornetist Warren Vaché had more than 35 albums as a leader under his belt before he was finally able to realize his lifelong dream of making an album with a string ensemble. Don't Look Back was recorded in Glasgow with a 12-piece studio group called simply the Scottish Ensemble, and Vaché had the additional great fortune of securing the arranging skills of 87-year-old Bill Finegan, a legend who was essentially drawn out of retirement for this project. The deep experience of all concerned is showcased brilliantly on this album, which is basically an hour-long study in elaborate and gorgeously orchestrated melancholy. This would be called "make-out music" if it weren't all so richly and wonderfully sad -- it's more like breakup music for a couple who still loves each other and bears no ill will, but knows the relationship is doomed and is anxious to break it off gently and leave the happy memories intact. Vaché's tone is warm and heartbreakingly lovely throughout; the string arrangements are, unsurprisingly, richly detailed but never ostentatious. There are no uptempo numbers; from the hauntingly beautiful "It Was Written in the Stars," which opens the program, to the bittersweet title track that ends it, this album moves slowly and gracefully through various shades of lyrical blue, never stopping but never hurrying, either. This is perhaps not the best album to listen to if you're depressed already -- but if you're in the mood for something soft and sad, for mood music that rewards close attention, then you'd be hard pressed to find anything better than this. Very highly recommended. ~ Rick Anderson, All Music Guide

Read more ...

Dream Dancing Review

dreamdancing Featured Artist: Warren Vache
Year: 2004
Record Label: Arbors Jazz
Style: Straight-Ahead / Classic 


Review: As the first plunger-muted tones of Close Your Eyes meet the soft shoe of Eddie Locke’s brushwork, you know that Warren Vache is on an impassioned mission to claim his rightful position at the helm of Jazz trumpet. Unfairly branded as strictly a “Swing” or “Trad” player, Mr. Vache has coalesced his influences into a unique, imitable style; his solos unravel in long skeins of cascading ideas, owing as much to the legacy of Fats Navarro and Clifford Brown as to the trumpet heroes of the Swing Era. Warren’s melodically complete improvisations, coupled with his singing, burnished tone allow any song he chooses to play a metamorphosis into a unique jazz experience. Bill Charlap on piano provides the perfect foil for Mr. Vache’s creations - his solos and accompaniment can be spare, complex, obtuse, yet always swinging as he seems to be able to summon the entire history of Jazz piano at his whim. Dennis Irwin on bass and the aforementioned Eddie Locke on drums not only provide a rock solid foundation, but are eager participants in the creative proceedings. Harry Allen’s “Stan Getz meets Ben Webster” tenor sax adds a luxurious counterpoint to Mr. Vache’s creations on 4 tracks, most notably Lover, Come Back to Me and What’s New?.

Read more ...

My Shining Hour

myshininghourWarren Vaché
My Shining Hour

Vaché's clarinet playing, younger brother Allan joins him on My Shining Hour , recorded live in Hamburg. This digitally mastered re-release also featuring pianist Brian Lemon, guitarist Dave Cliff, bassist Dave Green and drummer Allan Ganley, includes ten tracks from that brilliantly energetic evening. When all five are playing, the sound resembles a carnival tramping through pink-tinged clouds.

While the title track displays Warren Vaché's eager enthusiasm to stay ahead of the moment, “I Fall In Love Too Easily” shows his sensitivity for each note, and the effects each combination has on the whole, whether playing a short phrase and letting the last note dwindle, or softly repeating just a few notes again and again.

Allan Vaché adds New Orleans flair to “You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To,” tracing loop-di-loops in the air with his clarinet. Cliff solos on guitar with unconstrained vivacity while Green hammers out a bass line through the duration. Ellington's “Purple Gazelle” features a jaunty solo by Lemon on piano, while Ganley hashes out a shoulder-shaking rhythm spotted with gussying fills

Read more ...