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We'll Dance 'Til Dawn

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Album Review

A blithely swinging crooner with a warm and jaunty improvisational style, trumpeter/vocalist Jeremy Davenport showcases his nightclub-honed charm on his third studio album and Basin Street Records debut, We'll Dance 'Til Dawn. A regular on the New Orleans music scene, Davenport made good on his '90s tag as Harry Connick, Jr.'s protégé by performing weekly at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the French Quarter. If Davenport's 2005 concert album, Live at the Bistro, was an earthy, unpredictable, and unfiltered document of his nightclub act, then 2009's We'll Dance 'Til Dawn is the more refined and polished business card follow-up. Where Bistro showcased how Davenport — a Missouri-born/N.Y.C.-trained musician — had fully steeped himself in the rhythmic gumbo of the New Orleans jazz tradition, We'll Dance 'Til Dawn is a dry martini of an album filled with crisp, urbanely delivered standards and supple afterglow ballads. In that sense, it's a much more modern take on the New Orleans tradition and frames Davenport in a wider lens than just a New Orleans act. Here listeners find more of Davenport's clever, Gershwin-esque originals like "Almost Never" and "I Could Hear Your Heartbeat." Equally as engaging are his cover choices, like his propulsive Latin-tinged take on "That Old Black Magic" and his surprisingly effective contemporary jazz reworking of Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix." That said, there's plenty of Southern hospitality here, including Davenport's playful duet with the famous city's other singing/trumpet-playing institution, Kermit Ruffins, on "Mr. New Orleans." A Davenport original, the track finds the two members of this dynamic duo celebrating and poking fun at their respective reputations, with the gruff Ruffins as "King of Treme" and the boyish Davenport as "Mr. Fancy Pants." It's a joyous wink of a tune and the type of track that only performers confident in their personas can get away with. Ultimately, that's the clearest thing about Davenport on We'll Dance 'Til Dawn — he knows he's got you in a spin as long as he wants.

Biography

Born: 04 May 1970 in St. Louis, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

New Orleans-based jazz musician Jeremy Davenport is a trumpeter/vocalist in the tradition of Louis Armstrong, Bunny Berigan, and Chet Baker. Born to musician parents in 1970, the Saint Louis, MO, native received a scholarship to study at the Manhattan School of Music during which time he also studied with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. Eventually Davenport moved his studies to the University of New Orleans and landed a seat in the trumpet section of pianist/vocalist Harry Connick, Jr.'s big band in the...
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We'll Dance 'Til Dawn, Jeremy Davenport
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