Like Ruby Braff and a long line of players who proceeded him, Warren Vaché is devoted to both the cornet and great melodies. Joined by some of England's top musicians, along with brother Allan Vaché on clarinet on a few tracks, he put together a set dominated by standards from several decades, swinging like mad throughout this 1994 concert at Amerika Haus in Hamburg. The band includes pianist Brian Lemon, guitarist Dave Cliff, bassist Dave Green, and drummer Allan Ganley. There's a sense of camaraderie on the bandstand with no one overly hogging the spotlight. Vaché is full of ideas in the breezy take of "My Shining Hour," while his brother is added for lightly swinging "Poor Butterfly." But two gems from Duke Ellington's vast repertoire are easily the highlights of the set: the rhythmic, sassy arrangement of Ellington's "Purple Gazelle" and his lyrical take of Billy Strayhorn's "Isafahan," the latter adding a lush solo by Cliff. First issued as Jazz im Amerika Haus, Vol. 2, Nagel- Heyer retitled the CD and reworked the cover to include a photo of the leader for this 1999 reissue.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden