D.C.’s Best Columnist Marc Fisher last year wrote a nice “Raw Fisher” item about Butch Warren, the legendary jazz man who’s gone through several rough spells (Fisher once visited him in a mental ward in Maryland). On a recent Saturday, Warren, a bassist who’s played with all of the truly greats—including Thelonious Monk—was out promoting himself in Dupont Circle. He handed me a blue flier for his Wednesday shows at Columbia Station in Adams Morgan. He was wearing a bike helmet, although he was not on a bike. He looked a touch touched.
I recognized him because I caught his act, The Butch Warren Experience, at the aforementioned Columbia Station one night. Since I’m not a big jazz head, it wasn’t his playing that struck me, although I’m sure it should have and I’m sure you should go and hear him for yourself. But what I really remember is his drink of choice: a tall, frothy glass of half-and-half. Butch Warren, by all accounts a jazz genius, drinks pints of half-and-half and walks around wearing a helmet. There’s a story in here somewhere. Fisher’s told some of it, but what’s the rest?
While contemplating, here’s Butch: