John Vanore: Primary Colors

Jerome Wilson BY

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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

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