NPR logo

Warren Vache On Piano Jazz

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Warren Vache On Piano Jazz

Studio Sessions

Warren Vache On Piano Jazz

Warren Vache On Piano Jazz

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Warren Vaché. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of the artist

Warren Vaché.

Courtesy of the artist

Set List

"Louisiana" (J. Johnson, A. Razaf, B. Schafer)

"Etude #2" (T. Charlier)

"A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" (E. Maschwitz, M.Sherwin)

"The Very Thought of You" (R. Noble)

"These Foolish Things" (E. Maschwitz, J. Strachey)

"Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)" (A. C. Jobim)

"Strike Up the Band" (G. Gershwin, I. Gershwin)

"Melancholy Mood" (M. McPartland)

"Royal Garden Blues" (C. Williams, S. Williams)

On this episode of Piano Jazz, trumpeter and cornetist Warren Vaché joins host Marian McPartland, bassist Gary Mazzaroppi and drummer Glenn Davis for a set of standards book-ended by two traditional jazz favorites: "Louisiana" and "Royal Garden Blues."

Vaché opens the program with an easy-swinging take through "Louisiana." With his warm, clear cornet tone, Vaché proves to be an ideal duet partner for McPartland, whose late husband, Jimmy McPartland, played the instrument. (He once received a cornet from Bix Biederbecke.)

Vaché turns the tables by requesting a McPartland solo in "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," and asking her about performing during the WWII. Then the group gets together for the Ray Noble ballad "The Very Thought of You," with Vaché supplying buckets of sweet tone. For "Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)," he takes a smooth turn through Antonio Carlos Jobim's sultry bossa nova.

"At our age, 'quiet nights' pretty well describes it," Vaché says.

"Well, just watch yourself," McPartland replies.

McPartland performs solo in her composition "Melancholy Mood." And the band closes the session, going all the way to back to "Royal Garden Blues," a 1919 composition popularized by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.

"That's where I cut my teeth — on those tunes," Vaché says. "And I still like playing them."

More About Warren Vaché

Warren Vaché Jr. was born Feb. 21, 1951, in Rahway, N.J. Music was an integral part of his upbringing. His father, Warren Sr., was a jazz bass player, writer and critic who made his living selling home appliances and musical instruments. His mother, Madeleine, was a secretary at Decca Records. Vaché started out playing piano, but switched to the cornet in fourth grade in order to play with his school band. In high school, he played in the school dance band and at weddings and bar mitzvahs; he also had many opportunities to sit in with his father's group as they gigged around southern New Jersey. Vaché continued his music studies at Montclair State College, picking up as many extracurricular gigs as he could.

Through his father's connections in the music business, Vaché met and began studying with big-band veteran Pee Wee Erwin. Erwin became his musical mentor, encouraging Vaché to complete his education and helping him to launch a professional career.

With his clarinetist brother Allan, Vaché organized a Dixieland group that successfully auditioned for a role in the 1975 Broadway production Dr. Jazz. Though the show was short-lived, Vaché worked alongside established composers and players Dick Hyman and Sy Oliver. That same year, George Wein and the New York Jazz Repertory Company selected Vaché to play in a Bix Beiderbecke tribute show. He then joined Benny Goodman's band, touring the world and sharing the bandstand with Hank Jones, Zoot Sims and Slam Stewart. When not on the road with Goodman, Vaché worked with the house band at Condon's in New York. He also formed a friendship with trumpeter Roy "Little Jazz" Eldridge, and started his own trio with John Bunch at the piano.

In the late 1970s, Vaché began a long recording career with the Concord Super Band, an all-star big-band group that recorded for Concord Records. He appears on more than 20 of these recordings, many as leader. In his 40-year career, Vaché has released more than 35 albums as a leader and appeared on numerous recordings as a sideman. He has performed on the soundtracks to the films The Gig and The Luckiest Man in the World, and trained Richard Gere on trumpet for his role in The Cotton Club.

Warren Vaché continues to record and perform, and he currently has a monthly gig at New York's Metropolitan Room with singer Annie Ross. He's also a dedicated educator and author of an instructional DVD, titled I Love the Trumpet.

Web Resources