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Day Dreamin'

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Album Review

With LaVerne Butler having provided so much passionate, intense hard bop on her debut album, No Looking Back, it came as quite a surprise when the singer took a more mellow and laidback approach on her second album, Day Dreamin', which was devoid of loud horn solos and found her joined by an intimate piano trio. Not thrilled to hear Butler interpreting songs by the Isley Brothers and Aretha Franklin, some jazz purists dismissed the CD as lightweight quiet storm music and argued that Butler should have stuck with standards and hard bop. But in fact, Day Dreamin' has a lot going for it. By choosing less obvious material, Butler was taking chances, and they pay off handsomely. The Isleys' "For the Love of You" and Franklin's "Day Dreamin'" work well in an acoustic jazz setting, as does Brazilian singer Dori Caymmi's "Photograph." This CD can function as mood music, but it's personal, heartfelt mood music that is as rewarding as it is thoughtful.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Not to be confused with R&B great LaVern Baker, LaVerne Butler is a superb but underexposed jazz singer whose main influences include Nancy Wilson and Sarah Vaughan. Butler is originally from Shreveport, LA, where she grew up listening to jazz and R&B extensively with a lot of encouragement from her father, saxophonist Scott Butler. After leaving Shreveport, she moved to New Orleans, where she studied music at the University of New Orleans and become a fixture in the city's Dixieland and...
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Day Dreamin', LaVerne Butler
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