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January/February 2007

Warren Vache and The Scottish Ensemble
Don't Look Back
Arbors Records

It was a dream of Warren Vache to record with a string ensemble, and the trumpeter was initially asked to complete a string CD that Ruby Braff was working on before Braff’s passing. However, an appearance in Glasgow, Scotland a short time later would inspire a string ensemble CD for Vache in his own right. He became friendly with a few members of the Scottish Ensemble and the generous founders of Arbors Records, Rachel and Mat Domber, agreed to not only fund a whole new project, but to fly an American team of musicians and recording engineers to Glasgow to take part in this special project.

The result is something quite remarkable, not the least of which was the discovery of a chart meant for the legendary Charlie Parker With Strings sessions. “Spring,” composed and arranged by Johnny Carisi, was discovered by guitarist James Chirillo, who also contributes his talents as a player, composer and arranger to this project. Vache takes what would have been Parker’s place and lends a more subtle and haunting effect as cornet player. In fact, it is the haunting beauty of Vache’s playing throughout this entire album that makes it a captivating experience. All 11 tracks become vignettes as if you were watching a classic movie channel. Vache convinced Bill Finegan to come out of a long retirement to add his unique touch as arranger to three selections, two of which, “It Was Written in the Stars” and “April in My Heart,” were suggested by Finegan himself. The veteran arranger of the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra still has his inventive touch as he nears 90.

Originally published in January/February 2007
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