Rebecca DuMaine & Dave Miller Trio
Bay Area jazzers Dave Miller and Rebecca DuMaine are a father-daughter team – they have their own careers away from each other but work together often and have teamed for records before. Someday, Someday is brand new, their latest. And it’s a wee gem – even if its songs have been chosen to reflect the uncertainty of the pandemic world.
DuMaine’s voice is not entirely to my taste – it’s very TV Production, almost too perfect, I think of show tunes, big belters. There’s more charm to her voice than the way I’m selling it – but what really helps is the Dave Miller Trio. They ground her – she works well with them.
Miller is maybe the real star, at the piano his guiding hands work like the great accompanists – I’m thinking straight away of Ralph Sharon (Tony Bennett) and George Shearing (in the case of Shearing, his work siding for Nancy Wilson in particular).
The brassy tone to the voice is slightly too much for me on a version of Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, for instance. But Miller and his rhythm section (Bill Belasco on drums, Chuck Bennett on bass) make it worth listening to still.
This is clear from the album’s opener, Just Friends. Miller’s fingers are dancing – his solo is exquisite. But its delivered in a way that suggests he never wants to steal a show, merely wants to earn his keep and pay his way. His service is to the song always.
When I settle in to DuMaine’s voice it has qualities I love – the drama is so well sold on Alone Again (Naturally), the title track’s samba is a glorious instrumental anyway, but the vocal is wonderful here as reinforcement. And the message – “someday we will sing again” is crucial in this lockdown record.
DuMaine also finds new ways into old standards, On A Clear Day is optimistic and bursts with charm thanks to her upbeat read. Cry Me A River dances a slick waltz, Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams is sultry nightclub stuff and Sunny, to close, keeps the positive vibes flowing and has a nice brittle funk to its backbeat but so much sunshine is carried in the brightness of Rebecca’s voice.
A winning set of tunes so confidently delivered.
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