Allan Vaché is a veteran of the Jim Cullum Jazz Band and appeared for years on the Riverwalk Jazz radio show. He is known for a clarinet style reminiscent of a young Benny Goodman. His professional career stretches back to the early ’70s and he has released or appeared on scores of albums on labels such as Jazzology, Audiophile, and the German-based Nagel-Heyer.
It Might As Well Be Swing is his fifth album with Arbor Records. Having made several for Arbor already featuring larger groups he decided to record this album of swing standards with a tight quartet. He brought in musicians he regularly works with near his South Florida home base. Mike McKee on piano, Charlie Silva on bass, and Walt Hubbard on drums. He set two tracks for three clarinets and brought in his wife Vanessa Vaché, an accomplished clarinetist in her own right, and a former student Erin Davis-Guiles to give “Air Mail Special” and “Poor Butterfly” that added oomph.
The small group allows a lot of action for each member. Instrumental jams on ten classics including “Cheek to Cheek,” “Out of Nowhere,” and “Do Nothin’ ‘til You Hear From Me” produce a smooth, mellow swing that holds throughout the album. The third track, “Time After Time,” is my takeaway cut. It displays Vaché’s clarinet to full effect while setting the mood for what is to come.
Allan Vaché It Might As Well Be Swing
Arbor Records ARCD 19461 (2018) arborsrecords.com