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All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

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  • Guy Deschenes wrote on January 31, 2010 report

    A happy confluence of recording excellence, instrumental proficiency, and arranging skills: that's what awaits the person who has the latest John Warren CD and the time to listen to and "dig" it. John has in this decade found his voice and the means to project it. He has always courted great brass players to interpret his music and this compilation of musical arrangements highlights the skills of two excellent trumpet players, Gerard Precencer and Martin Shaw, as well as a really great trombonist, Mark Nightingale - note his solo on "Willow White", a lovely melody. My favourite solo comes by way of Christian Brewer on alto sax. Both his and John's interpretations of Thelonius Monk's hauntingly beautiful ballad "Ruby My Dear" are faithful to Monk's original concept and voicing. Shaw, Brewer and pianist Gwilym Simcock interpret and add their voices to an interesting composition by John called "Winter Solstice".

    Warren demonstrates a talent for making a small group sound like a big band while retaining the flexibility of a small but tight group of post bop musicians. He is also a prime example of a composer/arranger whose insight and musical abilities expand in the fullness of time. I cant wait to hear his next offering.