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The Vach: Side by Side

Jack Bowers By

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This really is a family affair with three members of the Vaché brood and two each from the Allred and Metz clans coming together to perform some good old-fashioned trad Jazz. All are well known among followers of the music, and their credentials are impeccable. They bridge two generations with Ed Metz Sr. on piano and son Ed Jr. on drums; bassist Warren Vaché Sr. completing the rhythm section with sons Warren Jr. on cornet and Allan on clarinet; and Bill Allred and son John on trombone. The senior members of the group must be proud of their offspring who have followed in their footsteps, helping to keep alive the flickering flame of forthright two-beat Jazz and four-beat swing. All of these musicians - even the younger ones - have reputations for excellence validated in performances all over the world. Everyone sounds especially loose and comfortable on this date, which is perhaps a natural outgrowth of playing with family and friends. Many of the songs are well-known staples of the genre, although there are a couple of pleasant surprises including Metz Sr.'s "Blues for the Old Men," an interesting treatment of "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" on which Metz Sr.'s out-of-tempo piano intro segues into a honkey-tonk beat with rhythm section only, and an arresting unaccompanied opening statement and resourceful improvisations on "Sonny Boy" by Vaché Jr. on cornet and John Allred on trombone. Allred Sr. and Jr. are a dynamic duo on "Japanese Sandman" and "I Double Dare You," with Allan and Warren Vaché Jr. also smoking on the latter. The closer, "Old Fashioned Love," is a medium-tempo charmer with a tasteful introduction by Metz Sr., two spellbinding choruses by Vaché Jr. on muted cornet and some arresting bass lines by Vaché Sr. For those who appreciate it, more than an hour of well-played Jazz that never strays from tradition.

Track Listing: Medley: Side by Side, Ding Dong Daddy; No One Else But You; Oh, Daddy; Japanese Sandman; I Believe in Miracles; Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah; Sonny Boy; I Double Dare You; Blues for the Old Men; You Turned the Tables on Me; I Want a Little Girl; Come Back Sweet Pea; Old Fashioned Love (62:57).

Personnel: Warren Vach

Title: Side by Side | Year Released: 1998

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