Warren, Butch [Edward Rudolph] (Washington, 8 Sept 1939)


Double bass player


He started his career at the age of 14 in a band led by his father, then played in and around Washington with Gene Ammons and Stuff Smith (c. 1956-7). He moved to New York to work with Kenny Dorham (1958-60), and as a house musician at Blue Note Records recorded with Jackie McLean (1961-2), Donald Byrd (1961, 1963), Herbie Hancock and Stanley Turrentine (both 1962), and Joe Henderson (1963). He also played in New York clubs and recorded with Sonny Clark (1961-2) and Dexter Gordon (1962). He was the regular double bass player in Thelonious Monk's quartet in 1963-4, touring Europe and Japan and making several recordings. After returning to the Washington area he performed on a local television show (1965-6) and backed touring pop groups such as the Platters (1966). Owing to illness he ceased to be active during the late 1960s and early 1970s, but he resumed playing in the mid-1970s - with Howard McGhee and Richie Cole (both 1975) - and continued to perform part-time.


Warren's style is notable for his ability to create swinging accompaniments, through a combination of well-phrased quarter-note lines and nicely placed accents with articulation marked by short decay. His solos, though limited in range, are effective, using walking lines and short phrases based on the blues.


 John Curry


The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Macmillan Reference Ltd 1988