Showcasing his winning mix of urbane swing and down-home New Orleans panache, Live at the Bistro finds trumpeter/vocalist Jeremy Davenport performing in his hometown of St. Louis, MO. Backed by the stellar rhythm section of pianist Thadeus Richard, bassist David Pulphus, and drummer Troy Davis, Davenport swings through such standards as "I Could Write a Book," "Lover," "The Very Thought of You," and others including an inspired Latin version of "I've Got a Crush on You" and a deliciously saucy take on "St. Louis Blues." Recorded at The Bistro jazz club, the album picks up where Davenport's self-titled 1996 debut for Telarc and his 1998 follow-up, Maybe in a Dream, left off. Having relocated to New Orleans in the '90s, Davenport established himself as the house act at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the French Quarter and eventually earned the reputation as one of the top performers in the city. With a soft, charming, and lithely bluesy vocal style, Davenport may remind some of another New Orleans crooner, Harry Connick, Jr. -- with whose band Davenport was a member. Similarly impressive is Davenport's trumpet playing -- always crisply melodic. Here he reveals a knack for clever improvisational passages that hint at a song's deeper harmonic structures while always retaining a natty sense of straightforward swing. While his style is reminiscent of such trumpet playing singers as Chet Baker, Louis Armstrong, and Bunny Berigan, in the years since he recorded his first albums the 30-something crooner has come into his own as a performer and Bistro reveals an artist utterly happy in his own creative skin.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar