A Foolish Thing to Do

A Foolish Thing to Do

by LaVerne Butler


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A Foolish Thing to Do

Beginning at the age of 12, Laverne Butler learned her musical ABC's by performing with her father, saxophonist Scott Butler, before moving on to earn a degree from the University of New Orleans and ultimately launching a solo vocal career. Her fourth album, A Foolish Thing to Do, shows how well this varied education has served her. Kicking off with a pair of ballads, the title track and "End of a Love Affair," Butler fully exploits her velvety contralto, infusing the lyrics with a soulful pensiveness reminiscent of Johnny Hartman. Just when it seems obvious that slow, sad songs are her métier, Butler reveals her playful side with a lilting version of "Go Away Little Boy" and then renders "When I Fall in Love" with a vibrant swing that makes it impossible to doubt that real, true love is waiting just around the corner. Clearly, this is a singer who has learned to embrace a great many moods and styles with equal aplomb, as further evidenced by the wistful romanticism she conveys -- abetted by sweeping strings -- on Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Dindi." Happily, the strings are kept on a short leash (surfacing only once more, on a rueful version of "Make It Easy" that Butler accents with a skillful use of vibrato), and for the most part a solid jazz current flows through the album, propelled by Bruce Barth, Daryl Hall, Steve Wilson, David "Fathead" Newman, and others. Butler thrives in this company, bouncing gleefully on "West Coast Blues," artfully toying with the beat on "Just One of Those Things," and catching a bossa nova wave on "Make Someone Happy." Having roamed far and wide, the Louisiana native brings it back home for the finale, a slinky rendition of "Basin Street Blues" that proclaims her profound grasp of all the things a jazz singer needs to know.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/31/2001
Label: Max Jazz Records
UPC: 0610614011325
catalogNumber: 140113

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