Known as the Piano Prince of New Orleans since before he was 10 years old, Davell Crawford has long been considered the logical successor to the great New Orleans piano tradition, passed from Jelly Roll Morton through Professor Longhair, James Booker, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, and Henry Butler. Indeed, Crawford is a prodigious pianist steeped in the myriad ivory ways of the Crescent City, as well as master of the B3 organ and a charismatic singer sporting a strong gospel streak. If, at 35, he hasn't quite claimed the mantle that seems to be his natural legacy, it's probably due to his relatively low profile—even in New Orleans—plus his scarcity of recordings, which haven't been significantly added to in over a decade. Nonetheless, Crawford is a dynamic, often electrifying performer who can easily command attention with only a piano and his voice. He'll play solo at the Dakota. Expect a slew of NOLA standards done up in his inimitable style, including "Jock-A-Mo," often known as "Iko Iko," which was written by his grandfather, James "Sugar Boy" Crawford, back in the '50s. Other stalwarts of his sets include gospel-doused versions of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and Randy Newman's post-Katrina must, "Louisiana 1927."
Mondays, Sundays. Starts: Oct. 10. Continues through Oct. 11, 2010