Jeremy Davenport

Maybe in a Dream

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Jeremy Davenport has good credentials. Like Harry Connick, Jr., with whom he has been compared, he studied with Ellis Marsalis in New Orleans after receiving classical training in St. Louis, and also studied with Wynton Marsalis. Maybe in a Dream is made up of standards and his own compositions; there's also a short visit by Diana Krall as she joins Davenport on his "Let's Leave." Davenport has a pleasant enough voice which is much more effective on the standards, since his compositions do not compare well with the more familiar material on this disc. His originals can best be described as cute, without much substance and not likely destined to be covered by many other performers. Given the lightness of Davenport's voice, it is hard to discern any real feeling in his phrasing and interpretations. Everything is done with the same boyish charm, but there seems to be little effort to put his own imprimatur on the standards -- that is, to make the song his own for the four or five minutes he controls the music. Of the five pieces written by Davenport, "What Ever Happened" is the most entertaining. The lyrics are clever and the tune offers an opportunity for the members of the group to stretch out.

Davenport's trumpet, on which he uses a mute most of the time, is understated and reticent, much like Chet Baker's. The one song where Davenport shines is "Moonglow," linking jazz trumpet with a vocal. He gets excellent support here, and throughout, from Glenn Patscha on piano, who has worked with Davenport on previous recording sessions. "P.S. I Love You" is notable for the fine solo by eminent bassman Peter Washington. Gregory Hutchinson provides solid tempo support for the sessions with some good cymbal work. When the mood calls for it, this album can be turned to for some pleasant, low-density listening. A nice added attraction is that the lyrics to all the tunes are reprinted in the liner notes.

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