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Butch Warren

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by bass_means_LOW, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. bass_means_LOW


    Apr 12, 2004
    Las Vegas
    I've got him on some Blue Note recordings of the 50's and 60's.
    He's swingin' hard with a big sound on Joe's "Page One."
    What do you know about him? His bass, favorite cuts, where he's from, etc.!
  2. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I don't know if you meant to splinter this from the "what sound are you going for thread", but we were just discussing him over there.

    He's a personal obsession of mine. I hate saying that that way, but I just learned from the other thread that he is still alive and I've been reading about him and I think that's an accurate description of the impact his playing has had on me. I don't know much about him as a person, but I have a feeling that will change soon.

    He wasn't the strongest soloist, but I think his ensemble playing is perfect. I can pick him off of a record that I'm listenning to for the first time every time.
    abaguer likes this.
  3. bass_means_LOW


    Apr 12, 2004
    Las Vegas
    I was posing a general question about him.
    Didn't know he was still alive. You know where he lives or if he still plays?
  4. DB66


    Aug 24, 2005
    Washington, D.C.
    Butch Warren lives in Washington D.C. and plays around. He used to host a jam session at Jimmy Mcphail's Gold Room in Northeast D.C. That was a while ago. His version of Blue Bossa with Joe Henderson was one of my favorites.
  5. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    he's on some nice sides with Dexter, too.
  6. I don't think Butch plays out anymore, or does so very rarely. He was seriously ill for many years, and never returned to form. I saw him in a club recently, and he didn't look good at all.

    A shame, he was a great section player. I especially liked him paired with Billy Higgins.
  7. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I wonder (out loud) if he would give a lesson. I have a strange set of feelings about him for someone I've never met. I really connect to his playing and he was one of the first people I transcribed. One of the first "voices" that I felt like I could always pick off of a record and nail the blindfold test.
  8. bassdogEmer


    Sep 14, 2005
    San Francisco
    Endorsing Artist: Mesa Boogie Amps, Bag end,Thomastik - Infeld Strings
    I have a strange set of feelings about him for someone I've never met.[/QUOTE]
    uh....... great bassist... Butch that is... you sound like you might be in love. Try sending him flowers and a box of chocolates.

  9. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Nope, that's not it.
  10. arseniotall


    Dec 24, 2005
    Yea butch is dowh here in dc. He used to come to the session all the time. Every note he played sounded like a blue note album. He popped up at a gig i was doing maybe three months ago. He wasnt doing to well. I believe he is homeless. A couple cats were taking care of him for a minute, but i really don't know the deal, but we definitely know each other.
  11. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    This is consistent with what I've been hearing and I've had some good private mail discussions about him. So, at the risk of someone else accusing me of being gay, I'll say out loud that this really bothers me.

    I know that people and the music they made are distinct entities, but this is a person whose contribution (often overlooked) to the music and instrument I love was huge to me. I think he and I had the same muse. What he played is usually what is in my head. It bothers me to know that things aren't well with him and I can't help but feeling that maybe something could be done.

    I was listening to Hank Mobley's No Room For Squares last week and on about track 4 I sat up and said "What's different?". It was the first track on that record that Butch played on. I went back and listened to the first 3 and couldn't really find any fault with them, but when I got to Butch's, I just felt the planets align.

    So, I realize it’s just music, but it’s my music, his inadvertent gift to me 40 years later and knowing that he may not have the basic things in life that he needs is affecting me in a way that I can’t quite articulate. If anyone knows him well enough to advise me, maybe in private mail, what if anything might help him, I would appreciate it. I could probably put together a benefit for him in Seattle. Maybe I could have my friends down in Portland do the same. Sometimes money doesn’t make these things better though, so I don’t want to assume.

    <Troll me on this thread again at your own risk>
  12. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I just picked up "It's Monk Time" on CD and I think this is clearly some of BW's best work with respect to his soloing. I've always really liked his ensemble playing and his soloing has been O.K., but not necessarily inspiring. He played some nice solos on this session, though and I think there were 3 or 4 on that record, which was a little bit unusual.

    Check it out if you're a fan and haven't heard it before.
  13. That (Page One) is definetely a great album.
  14. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/20/AR2006052001226.html[/url]

    Note: As of this morning, May 22, this link may or may not work. You can search the Washington Post website for "Butch Warren" in quotes and find the article by Post columnist Marc Fisher in the Sunday, May 21, Metro section. I am hesitant to paste the column here because of copyright issues.

    The column gives a good overview of Mr. Warren's successes and profound challenges through his life. The article says it all so there is no need to comment any more than to say that Mr. Warren hopefully has some years ahead of him so I'd like to see him get out and play again.
  15. ^that's really sad.
  16. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
  17. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Thank you for posting this.

  18. Noir


    Mar 14, 2006
    Thanks for the link. He's one of my favourites.

    I have many albums he plays on, and I'm surprised I keep discovering more.
    Apart from the ones mentioned, I suggest "Una Mas" - Kenny Dorham and "Happy Frame Of Mind" - Horace Parlan...
  19. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Here's an idea that I haven't put quite enough thought into:

    Butch is hospitalized now. He may be for the rest of his life or he could get discharged again at some point to a group home of some kind. Money doesn't help him now, but it could if he were discharged.

    What if we had simultaneous benefits for him in our various cities. We could set up some kind of a trust (I know a jazz fan laywer who might do this pro bono for him) to deposit the money into.

    If he is discharged at some point in the future to some type of outside living arrangement, the trust pays some of his legitimate expenses with what money it has; rent, utilities, etc. If he lives out his life in the hospital, which it sound like is a possibility, we take the money raised and use it to buy school basses in his name in the communities that the benefits were held.

    To do this we would need:

    1) To hold benefits.
    2) To set up some type of trust
    3) To get in touch with someone who knows what is going on and has his best interest at heart. There were a few people mentioned in the article, like the paster of that church who we could reach out to.

    I would volunteer to do the majority of this work, but I don't think that if this effort were limited to what I could do in Seattle that it would make the impact that I would like for it to.

    Bad idea? Good idea? Good idea with some problems? Talk to me.

  20. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Troy, you totally rule.

    When you get running, tell me where to send a contribution please.

    The only thing I would add is that perhaps he'd like a bass to play while in the hatch, if they'll let him.
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