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Warren Vache: Swingtime!

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The ability to swing must be in the genes; it certainly is in the Vaches (beginning with their dad, bassist Warren Sr.) The older bro, Warren, puts his cornet through various formats here and shines in all of them. Swing is the key word; Warren swings in any style he chooses, and in his three new releases he chooses big band, straightahead small combo, even Dixieland. And sometimes he will explode in a flurry of bop phrasing. Spontaneity is one of his most ingratiating qualities.

On Swingtime!, he fronts the 11-piece New York City All-Star Big Band (four brasses, four reeds and rhythm) as dedicated to big band swing as Vache himself is. Although it may be a concession to the swing-dance revival, the writing is generally tight, yet at the right moments loose and riff-laden. Alan Barnes contributed most of the book as well as a memorable baritone sax solo on the best cut, “B.D. Blues.” The arrangements are not spectacular, but they effectively provide accompaniment for dancing feet, even when the tempo changes from lindy to fox trot, as in Vache’s tenderest moments on “Portrait of Jenny.”