Laverne Butler

A Foolish Thing To Do


Laverne Butler, vocals; Bruce Barth, piano; Darryl Hall, bass; Victor Lewis, drums; David "Fathead" Newman, tenor saxophone; Steve Wilson, alto saxophone; Terrell Stafford, trumpet

Stop looking. The truth is no longer 'out there.' The truth about contemporary vocal Jazz is right here. After years of listening to the great vocal artists in the Jazz tradition, Billie, Ella, Sarah, et al., one comes to appreciate the simple 'assuredness' of a good singer. Like you know the tunes backwards, anyway, and you sort of sing along inside your head, and then you get to worry that the singer is not going to make a note, or hit a phrase right, or convincingly swing. This is unfair because, after all, being a listener (or critic) is far easier than actually delivering the goods. But how good it is when the singer relieves one of the load. The phrasing, and especially the lady's timbre, are matters of much quality. Laverne Baker is so very good that you can really relax and enjoy. The entire album is a breeze of pure pleasure. The musicians are a bunch of the best on the scene today. Very highly recommended.

by Lawrence Brazier

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Copyright Jazz Now, November 2001 issue, all rights reserved