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Sound Check

"Ba-ba-boom, ba-ba-da-da-la-boom-ba," jazz vocalist Julie Davis cooed in my ear as her husband, guitarist Kelly Dow, watched from a nearby couch.

Perhaps I should explain: This impromptu performance was delivered over the phone after I asked Davis to compare herself to her childhood inspirations, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan.

"Gosh, I don't know," Davis uttered from her home in Dania, which she shares with the other half of the jazz duo Davis and Dow. "That's a hard question. I like people to judge for themselves how I sound. The best way to describe it is to sing for you...."

When she's not giving out free samples, Davis is busy tickling the ears of appreciative listeners while Dow handles the subtle, steady rhythms on such standards as "Lush Life" and "Honeysuckle Rose." The duo performs at Sterling Worth Cafe in Plantation every Friday night. On Wednesday nights they join saxophonist Dave Hubbard as the Davis and Dow Trio at GiGi's in Boca Raton. And this Tuesday they'll perform as the Davis and Dow Quartet, along with bassist Sam Chiodo and drummer Eddie Crocheddi, at Jazid in Miami Beach.

"The duo is our bread and butter, though," Davis says. "The music is about the vibe you have with someone else -- sharing their soul. You have to get under their skin, and Kelly and I are really underneath each other's skin."

The duo's CD All Shades features nine covers -- including Miles Davis' seductive "All Blues" and Dizzy Gillespie's scat-filled "A Night in Tunisia" -- and just two originals, "Go On Home" and "Right as Rain." For the next recording, the duo plans to offer more of its own tunes. But there's no rush.

"Although I think it's important to put your thumbprint into everything you do, we want to play the music we play well first," Davis says. "We just want to play the music we play well right now and then create from there."

Listening to Davis go from breathy whispers to husky scats effortlessly, as Dow's Gibson ES-347 guitar provides the orchestral accompaniment, it's easy to understand why they're enjoying the moment.

For more information about Davis and Dow, including upcoming shows and recordings, check out their Website at

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Brian Hyman

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