I was going on gigs with my father at 12. We were doing different things, R&B, jazz, whatever he would want me to learn, that's what I would sing.
LaVerne grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, and developed her love for jazz while performing on stage with her father, jazz saxophonist Scott Butler. After becoming a vocalist with the jazz band at the University of New Orleans, LaVerne went to Bourbon Street. There, she became a regular in her own right on the New Orleans jazz scene. But it was Jon Hendricks of the jazz vocal group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross who encouraged her to think like an instrument and move to New York. She has since worked with such music masters as Ellis Marsalis, Henry Butler (no relation), Edward Frank, Alvin Batiste, Earl Turbinton, and the late James Black.
And though this performance is a studio recording, LaVerne want you to listen as if you were just two tables from the stage.
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 elementsblues and swing. Washington Post
LaVerne Butler is a rising star with fine jazz chops. (3.5 stars) Skanner Newspapers
...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.' Ebony
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. Offbeat Magazine
...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. Stereophile Magazine