Don’t Look Back ~ The New Yorker Magazine

newyorkermagazineaugust-7-2006Don’t Look Back - The CD

In the mid-seventies, when the brass-man Warren Vache arrived on the New York scene straight out of Rahway, New Jersey, he and his sometime associate the saxophonist Scott Hamilton became eager poster boys for traditional jazz, upholding a prewar aesthetic untouched by bebop, let alone modal or free jazz.

Today Vaché’s lyrical, unwaveringly melodic playing has transcended rigid notions of style and itself become classic.

His new album, Don't Look Back (Arbors), features a version of "Springsville" (here entitled "Spring"), a highlight of Miles Davis' 1957 masterpiece "Miles Ahead." Davis' work is notable for its sustained atmosphere of passionate introspection, and Vache achieves a similar muted yet piercing emotional tone. Recorded with a twelve-member string section called the Scottish Ensemble, Don't Look Back finds Vache gracefully playing his cornet alongside the Ensemble's quietly yearning tones.

His performance on the unfashionable horn blends beautifully with elegant arrangements from the guitarist James Chirillo, Alan Barnes, and the 89-year-old veteran orchestrator Bill Finegan, and Vache himself.

On such performances as "On The Street Where You Live," "I Fall in Love Too Easily," and "Love Is For the Very Young," Vache offers leisurely improvisations, highlighted by his huge, unruffled sound, that weave spontaneous song-like lines.

In his economical approach, Vache recalls not only Miles Davis of the fifties but another stylistic giant, Ruby Braff; like both of them, he has no use for any but the most perfect notes.

Steve Futterman,
The New Yorker Magazine,
August 7, 2006