Home » Jazz Musicians » Butch Warren

Butch Warren

Butch Warren (born in 1939) was an American jazz double bassist who plays in the hard bop genre. He was especially active in the late-50s and the 1960s. Contents

Warren began playing professionally at age 14 in a local Washington, D. C. band led by his father, Edward Warren. He later worked with other local groups, including Stuff Smith's, as well as with altoist and bandleader Rick Henderson at the historic Howard Theater on 7th and T Streets.

In 1958, he moved to New York City to play with Kenny Dorham, appearing on his first recording, with Dorham, in January 1960 with saxophonist Charles Davis, pianist Tommy Flanagan and drummer Buddy Enlow. He stayed in New York for the rest of his musical career, mainly as house bassist for Blue Note records.

A popular sideman, he also recorded with Miles Davis, Hank Mobley, Donald Byrd, Sonny Clark, Dexter Gordon, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Jackie McLean, and Stanley Turrentine. He played with Thelonious Monk in 1963 and 1964 and then moved back to Washington, D.C., where he briefly worked in television before becoming seriously ill.

He rarely soloed, preferring to accompany other musicians, and never recorded as a leader but performed as a sideman on many albums, including Dexter Gordon's Go and A Swingin' Affair (1962), Herbie Hancock's debut Takin Off (1962), Joe Henderson's Page One (1963), Jackie McLean's Vertigo (1959) and Hipnosis (1967), and many recordings with Thelonious Monk.

Following his illness Warren played professionally only occasionally. However, he played a five-year regular gig in Washington D.C.'s Adams Morgan neighborhood until October 2010. These days, Warren plays alternating Tuesday nights at Tryst and the Black Fox Lounge in Washington, D.C., as well as occasional special performances with fellow Blue Note alumni pianist Freddie Redd.



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

The Classic Quartet

Candid Records


The Feelin's Good

Blue Note Records



Unknown label


It's Monk's Time

Columbia Records




Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.