LaVerne Butler

Day Dreamin'

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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.

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