Home » Jazz Articles » John Vanore: Primary Colors

Album Review

John Vanore: Primary Colors


Sign in to view read count
John Vanore: Primary Colors
These recordings come from the mid-80s, a time when mixing jazz and electronics was still a fairly radical idea. They have trumpeter John Vanore marrying his solo lines to electronic embellishments performed by pianist Ron Thomas on a Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer and other keyboards. Nothing here is startling by modern standards, but there are still some interesting sounds and experiments present.

The electronic effects mix in lightly on several tracks. "Yesterdays" and "A Time for Love" are basically straight trumpet and piano duets with Vanore's strongly melodic playing the focus and only a tinny echo on the piano betraying the electric component. The beauty of Vanore's playing also shines through on "Final Dawn" and "Return," but the electric keyboard sounds are plusher and more prominent. Lionel Richie's old Commodores' ballad, "Lady" gets a more elaborate treatment of heavily echoed layers of trumpet blending with waves of synthesizers. It carries the lushly mysterious feel of a vintage ECM track.

The big break from these mellow moods comes on "Origins Of Rude" which sounds like an outtake from Miles Davis' On The Corner. It is a slab of hard funk where Vanore slashes and shouts against a mix of crunchy keyboards and squelchy synth sounds. The most elaborate overall experiment comes on "Secret Love." Vanore's bubbling trumpet starts out solo, but is slowly enveloped by harpsichord-like murmurs as he moves into an up-tempo version of the song. Thomas' volume rises until the track becomes a full-blown swinging duet with Thomas even getting in his own wiggly synthesizer solo.

These were private recordings that were not originally meant for public consumption. Still they sound polished and lively with John Vanore blowing consistently excellent trumpet while Ron Thomas conjures up electronic accompaniments which are never less than pleasant and sometimes really exciting.

Track Listing

Final Dawn; Lady; Yesterdays; A Time For Love; Origins of Rude; Return; Secret Love.


John Vanore: trumpet; Ron Thomas: piano.

Album information

Title: Primary Colors | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: acoustical concepts

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album



Live From the Heat Dome
Thomas Marriott
I Hear Music
Diane Marino
Eve Risser Red Desert Orchestra
Lovely Error
James O'Sullivan


Get more of a good thing!

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