Blues In The City by LaVerne Butler was not only her MAXJAZZ debut, but maintains the distinction of launching the label’s highly acclaimed Vocal Series. The release hit #1 on the Gavin Jazz Chart and was nominated for the AFIM (Association for Independent Music) Indie Award for Best Jazz Vocal. Blues In The City features LaVerne Butler, vocals; Bruce Barth, piano; John Webber, bass; Klaus Suonsaari, drums;
Ava Burton & Janet Hall Givens, background vocals.
“Ever since Cassandra Wilson, Holly Cole and Diana Krall started topping the jazz charts, record companies have been signing almost any woman with a strong, sulky voice…LaVerne Butler stands out in this suddenly crowded field because she is no warmed-over pop singer; the Louisiana veteran has a sure grasp of jazz’s two essential elements - blues and swing.”
“LaVerne Butler is a rising star with fine jazz chops.” (3½ stars)
“ . . is an exceptional jazz singer, yet her vibe is the blues. Her delivery is authoritative yet passionate as she gives new meaning to favorites such as ‘Please Send Me Someone To Love,’ ‘This Bitter Earth’ & ‘Since I Fell For You.’”
Blues in the City
LaVerne Butler’s latest release, A Foolish Thing To Do, captures her confidence, fluid mastery of the jazz form and her genuine joy in the music. With esteemed sidemen Bruce Barth (piano), Darryl Hall (bass), Victor Lewis (drums), David “Fathead” Newman (tenor saxophone), Steve Wilson (alto saxophone) and Terell Stafford (trumpet), not to mention a full complement of strings on several tracks, A Foolish Thing To Do features romantic numbers tinged by the blues as well as pop tunes infused with a jazz sensibility, songwriters include Ms. Butler in collaboration with Bruce Barth, along with Cole Porter, Carole King, Jobim and Burt Bacharach.
“Her greatest strength seems to be her ability to deliver each tune with superb rhythmic phrasings and colorful, intimate tones while drawing attention to the full impact of the meanings contained in the lyric.”
“…Butler is in fine form…she generates an easy-flowing groove and a tenderly insinuating timbre…it’s hard to resist the warm embrace of Butler’s style.”
(3 stars) Los Angeles Times
“On a ‘A Foolish Thing To Do,’ Butler proves she can handle just about anything.”