Dave Miller’s “Just Imagine” a joyful interpretation of Shearing

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Aug. 13, 2019 would have marked the 100th birthday of British jazz pianist George Shearing. Shearing, who died in 2011, is celebrated on the new CD by veteran jazz performer, Dave Miller. Performing as part of the Dave Miller Trio, Miller brings the songs of Shearing to life on “Just Imagine.” Two songs not be missed on the recording are “One for the Woofer,” and “You Took Advantage of Me.”

About Dave Miller

Like many skilled musicians, Miller has been playing music from a young age. Having picked out his first piano tunes by ear when he was just three years old, Miller studied classical piano. When he was a teenager, Miller switched to jazz. Jazz has been a constant in Miller’s life ever since. However, even though Miller must keep busy as a lawyer, jazz remains a part of his life. In addition to his work with his trio, Miller has also recorded several albums with his daughter, singer Rebecca DuMaine. The most recent of which is “Chez Nous.” Miller remains a fixture of the Northern California jazz scene.

“One for the Woofer” by Dave Miller

Few jazz songs have been so exuberant without being almost whimsical. However, this is the feel that Miller gives “One for the Woofer.” The Billy Taylor classic is a joy from the first note. The song begins with full and deep piano runs and builds as the bass rumbles in and the drums clatter with groove.

When there is what can be considered a break, the song still sounds full, and the classic jazz ending, is a stylish touch that adds the right amount of shine to the close of a song that listeners are unlikely to forget.

“You Took Advantage of Me” by Dave Miller

The song rumbles in with a startlingly clear bass line. Here, Miller’s piano is a bit more spry, a little lighter, as that is what the soundscape calls for. However, the trio’s full sound is brilliant, sparkling even.

The piano gives the impression of a tap dancer’s dexterity. The almost rubber quality of the bass strings gives a smooth and deep resonance to the song. That along with the light quality of the piano makes for a dynamic soundscape. The drums sound brushed and that helps the overall sound to be just the right level – – not too loud.

The piano lines sounds made up of small, fast runs and longer phrases and that builds texture. Audiences might have an idea where the song is going, but the work is not predictable. The song remains fun and in some ways light.

Dave Miller is joined by Chuck Bennet on bass and Bill Belasco on drums. “Just Imagine” will be available Oct. 4, 2019.

 

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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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