SERIOUS SWING IN SWITZERLAND: WARREN VACHÉ, BILL ALLRED, BOB WILBER, DICK WELLSTOOD, BUCKY PIZZARELLI, MILT HINTON, JAKE HANNA, and WILD BILL DAVISON: “SONS OF CHICAGO JAZZ,” Bern Jazz Festival 1986.

Warren Vaché, photograph by Stuart Nicholson

I don’t think JAZZ LIVES’ readers will need an introduction to this wonderful band. Eddie Condon would have called this band SONS OF BIXES. And they are! (In a nice way, mind you.) Warren Vaché, cornet; Bill Allred, trombone; Bob Wilber, reeds; Dick Wellstood, piano; Milt Hinton, string bass; Bucky Pizzarelli, guitar; Jake Hanna, drums; guest Wild Bill Davison, cornet, who also talks about Al Capone with an interviewer at the end. (Bill hadn’t been able to warm up properly for his first chorus of MONDAY DATE but was in wonderful form a few minutes in.)

The music: AT THE JAZZ BAND BALL / BEALE STREET BLUES / THERE’LL BE SOME CHANGES MADE (Vaché-Allred) / MOOONLIGHT ON THE GANGES (Wilber-Bucky-Milt-Jake) / add Wild Bill, Warren out: MONDAY DATE / BLUE TURNING GREY OVER YOU / YOU TOOK ADVANTAGE OF ME (don’t miss Bill’s Hackett-coda!) / Warren returns: LADY BE GOOD / Encore (Wild Bill out): HINDUSTAN //

Incidentally, the music is billed as “Chicago jazz,” and I suppose that is evident in some of the repertoire choices. But if you take away all the labels — “Nicksieland,” “hot jazz,” “Mainstream,” the music stands on its own, with masterful players regarding the past with affection and skill while completely being themselves. And, with no disrespect to the elegantly hot front line, WHAT a rhythm section! Make sure that fragile items nearby are secured because you will feel turbulence of the best kind throughout the cabin.

I could watch and listen to that all day. What a blessing that it was performed, recorded, and preserved, and that Warren and Bill are still with us, making music.

May your happiness increase!

2 responses to “SERIOUS SWING IN SWITZERLAND: WARREN VACHÉ, BILL ALLRED, BOB WILBER, DICK WELLSTOOD, BUCKY PIZZARELLI, MILT HINTON, JAKE HANNA, and WILD BILL DAVISON: “SONS OF CHICAGO JAZZ,” Bern Jazz Festival 1986.

  1. Ida Melrose Shoufler

    Dick Wellstood is one of my favorites on the piano! This is a great post Nephew! I could listen to the music these awesome musicians make all day!

  2. Paige VanVorst

    Really enjoyed this video- I’ll admit to being tired of Wild Bill while he was alive, but it was great to see him again. The rhythm was superb as well.

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