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Let Them Talk

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Album Review

Although hard bop/soul-jazz was the main focus of Davell Crawford's sophomore effort, The B-3 and Me, it would be a mistake to think that he plays jazz exclusively. In fact, gospel and classic New Orleans R&B were the main focus of his enjoyable debut album, Let Them Talk, which was recorded when Crawford was only 19. While Crawford was heard mainly as a Jimmy Smith-type jazz organist on The B-3 and Me, his piano and vocals are much more prominent on this likable CD. As an acoustic pianist, Crawford draws heavily on Professor Longhair and James Booker, and his passionate, full-bodied R&B singing on "You Game Me Love," "Something You Got" and "Still In Love" are influenced by the great recordings that Fats Domino and Longhair made in the 1950s. Considering that most of Crawford's peers in the Black community were mainly into rap and urban contemporary in the mid-1990s, it's hard not to be impressed by his command of older African-American styles.


Born: September 3, 1975 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s

Singer and pianist Davell Crawford continues the New Orleans piano tradition begun by musicians like Professor Longhair and James Booker. Crawford is the grandson of 1950s R&B star James "Sugar Boy" Crawford. His debut record, Let Them Talk (1995, Rounder Records), amply demonstrates his gospel, R&B and jazz influences. His gift for ballad singing is on display in full force, and he's accompanied by some of the Crescent City's top musicians, including drummer Herman Ernest III and saxophonist Alvin...
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Let Them Talk, Davell Crawford
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