Warren Luening, renowned studio trumpeter dies

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Warren Luening
Warren Luening's trumpet and flugelhorn work from Lawrence Welk to Bob Florence to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra to soundtrack recording at the studios, where he was revered as one of best players and best guys in the building, died March 18th of complications from cancer. He was 70 years of age.

Warren Luening, Jr. born and bred in New Orleans, where many outsiders have sought to imitate that sound which comes so naturally to those who grew up exposed to the Big Easy's street music traditions. He had an early start with music, playing in a youth band, together with Roy Wiegand, Charlie May, and a rhythm section. They performed in 'The Colgate Comedy Hour' on C.B.S., as well. The youth band worked 6 nights a week.

Tony Almerico's All-Stars, a mixture of seasoned New Orleans men and the town's vigorous younger generation, became a fixture at the Parisian Room on Royal Street for years. Joining Almerico in the front line were three of the young stars who are carrying on the vital traditions of New Orleans jazz. Pete Fountain anexceptional clarinetist with the rich, mellow tone that is the hallmark of the great New Orleans clarinet men, trumpeter Warren Luening, Jr., and clarinetist “Pee Wee" Spitelera. The other horns in Almerico's band, Jack Delaney, a trombonist and singer who is the closest thing to Jack Tea-garden since Teagarden himself, and tenor saxophonist Nino Picone.

Luening moved on to played trumpet with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra for a few years (1958 to 1960) during the Silver Champagne Era. In the late 1960s he performed with the Ronnie Dupont Quartet, featuring Warren Luening (trumpet), Roy Wiegand (trombone), Johnny Vidacovich (drums) at The Bistro Nightclub in New Orleans.

He became a first call soloist in the Hollywood studios, recording on soundtracks for “ King Kong: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" (2005), Return to Me, “The Rat Pack" (TV movie), “The Rainmaker (1998)," “That Thing You Do!," “The Glass Shield," “Bopha!" and “The River."

This wasn't the first time I heard Warren Luening play, but whenever I saw him, I would always think of his masterful performance on “The River" score. Word was that he did take after take of this solo, live with the orchestra, of course, and completely killed it, take after take. The remarkable thing about this is that, putting aside the right notes, beautiful sound and spot-on intonation, each take sounded fresh and emotionally resonate. You want to get a glimpse of who this man was, take a listen. Gordon Goodwin

Noted Leuning solos: “Georgia" on Bergeron's CD, and “Double Barrel Blues" from the Magic Time LP from Bob Florence where he duets with himself, alternating between plunger and no plunger every other chorus. Clever and clean, and a mentor to many.

With Rosemary Clooney, “Dedicated To Nelson" (Concord Jazz), “A Foggy Day" featuring, soloist Warren Luening. He played with the orchestra on “Dancing with the Stars" (TV series), the EMMY and Oscars Awards.

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