Columbia Station’s Butch Warren era comes to a close

Butch Warren, left, will no longer perform twice a week at Columbia Station, according to the Washington City Paper. | taken by flickr user openprivacy

by Giovanni Russonello
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Butch Warren, D.C.’s most legendary living jazz musician, has lost his bi-weekly engagement at Adams Morgan’s Columbia Station, according to reports in the Washington City Paper.

The bassist will continue to play every Tuesday night at Tryst — just up the block from Columbia Station — with his group, the Butch Warren Experience. He will also play a highly anticipated Blues Alley performance on Tuesday, Oct. 19.

Michael J. West of the City Paper spoke to the Butch Warren Experience pianist Peter Edelman about Columbia Station’s decision to eliminate the group’s four-year run of Wednesday and Saturday shows.

“It’s one of those unfortunate parts of the business that sometimes clubs make changes,” Edelman said. “I think there may also have been some issues with the band, or with members of the band.”

Warren, 71 — whose life was shaken years ago by drugs and possibly harmful shock treatments that he received at mental hospitals — sometimes exhibited erratic behavior. But most who played with and saw him perform agreed that enjoying his music was a privilege.

At the Blues Alley show scheduled for Oct. 19, Warren will join the Brad Linde Ensemble as the group runs through the songs he helped make famous. He played on the debut versions of songs such as Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man,” Dexter Gordon’s “Cheese Cake” and Joe Henderson’s “Blue Bossa” (to which Warren added the unforgettable bass line), so there will be much to draw on.



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