CD Ballads and Other Cautionary Tales * (CD 15782224),
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Ballads and Other Cautionary Tales *

  • 1. Ballad for Very Tired and Very Sad Lotus
    2. Solitude
    3. I See Your Face Before Me
    4. Fools Rush In
    5. I Have Dreamed
    6. Autumn Serenade
    7. Everything Happens to Me
    8. I'll Only Miss Her When I Think of Her
    9. I'll Never Be the Same
    10. Stairway to the Stars
    11. I Rememeber You
    12. Don't You Know I Care
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): AR 19430

  • Credits
    ProducerWarren Vache
    EngineerJim Czak; Bill Moss

    Personnel: Warren Vach (cornet); Leroy Williams (drums).
    Audio Mixers: Jim Czak; Bill Moss .
    Recording information: Nola Studios, NYC (10/06/2010/10/07/2010).
    Young jazz instrumentalists often get carried away with showcasing their chops at a blazing tempo, while forgetting one important lesson known by successful veteran artists. The way a musician plays a ballad lets the listener know how good he is at telling a story; cornetist Warren Vach is a seasoned improviser who caresses the melody as he improvises, making judicious use of rests, and he interacts with his musicians rather than simply keeping the spotlight on himself. Working with bassist Neal Miner, drummer Leroy Williams, and alternating between Tardo Hammer and Richard Williams on piano, Vach explores a dozen ballads, most of which will be very familiar to seasoned jazz fans. "Ballad for Very Tired and Very Sad Lotus Eaters" isn't one of Billy Strayhorn's most commonly performed tunes, yet Vach's poignant interpretation brings out its longing character, with lush held notes and just a touch of vibrato in all the right spaces; Tardo Hammer is often noted for his bop chops, but he is equally adept at providing understated accompaniment in a mainstream setting. Vach's soft, muted horn proves captivating in his shimmering rendition of "I See Your Face Before Me," while his sassy open horn is on display in the whimsical setting of the old chestnut "I'll Never Be the Same." "(In My) Solitude" adds trombonist John Allred, who provides a perfect foil for the leader in a loping, easygoing setting of this gem by Duke Ellington. Tenor giant Houston Person is a guest on several tracks, and takes the lead in the bittersweet "Everything Happens to Me"; he follows Vach's spry, breezy opening statement in "I Remember You," adding a punchy, vocal-like solo that one can't help but wonder if it's his tribute to his longtime musical partner Etta Jones. Warren Vach's Ballads and Other Cautionary Tales is easily one of his finest all-around record dates. ~ Ken Dryden

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