Rebecca DuMaine and the Dave Miller Combo spotlight standards on “Chez Nous”

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Actress-turned-singer Rebecca DuMaine pairs with her father’s ensemble, the Dave Miller Combo to present the forthcoming album, “Chez Nous.” The recording will be available June 7, 2019.

The album sparkles with sophistication and elegance. “Chez Nous” is a collection of classic tunes, mostly jazz, but with a couple of popular songs by the Beatles and Bill Withers, for example, thrown in to keep things eclectic, perhaps.

Selecting tracks to highlight is difficult when so much of a recording contains superb phrasing, crisp instrumentation and a metaphorical transportation to places and times more romantic than the current one.

In addition to DuMaine on vocals and her father, Dave Miller on piano, the ensemble is completed by Chuck Bennett on bass, Bill Belasco on drums and Brad Buethe on guitar.

Rebecca DuMaine, in brief

DuMaine grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. This is the same region where her father has led his trio since the 1970s. DuMaine’s first love was singing, but she developed an acting career on the stage in New York City. That career eventually branched out into regional work in commercials and voiceovers.

Eventually, DuMaine would find that she loved singing jazz more than she did performing musical theater. She moved back to Northern California in 2010. Since then, DuMaine has recorded four albums (before “Chez Nous”) with her father and his combo.

DuMaine’s voice is playful and flexible, but also capable of carrying out solemn messages such as those found in “Yesterday” by the Beatles. On other songs such as the “So Danco Samba” DuMaine’s voice shines as it completes feats of phrasing. Hers is a high, but seasoned voice and “Chez Nous” allows her the material to show audience what she is capable of.

“Yesterday” and “Just the Two of Us” by Rebecca DuMaine and the Dave Miller Combo

The piano and vocal pairing sounds sparse. The duo puts the vocals in the fore of the soundscape. DuMaine’s voice is earnest, almost plaintive, which makes the lyrics about lost love even more melancholy. Still, she does justice to the track and the original meaning is not lost.

On “Just the Two of Us,” DuMaine manages to make the Bill Withers song sound like it is her own. The full combo gives the song energy. The bass, drums, guitar and piano dynamics fill the song with danceable groove. DuMaine manages to get in a bit of vocalese, which is a nice touch at the end.

“Chez Nous” by Rebecca DuMaine and the Dave Miller Combo is a classic-sounding album. All of the performers contribute effectively to the overall sound, and DuMaine’s voice shines. It is worth waiting for.

 

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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