The fourth album by this steadily evolving vocalist is a consistently euphoria-inducing outing that finds DuMaine leaping into fresh musical terrain.
DuMaine has emerged over the past decade as a savvy jazz singer who possesses an unerring ear for material, no matter how unlikely. Since moving back to the Bay Area after years on the East Coast immersed in the New York theater scene she’s studied and collaborated with some of the region’s most incisive improvisers.
While the American Songbook remains the heart of her repertoire, she’s become an ace song sleuth, finding material that reveals previously unexplored facets of her creative life!
One reason that she’s been growing by leaps and bounds is her deep engagement with her band. Since her impressive 2012 debut Deed I Do (Summit) she’s partnered with her father, the skillful jazz pianist Dave Miller, and his trio with drummer Bill Belasco and veteran bass master Mario Suraci. As on the previous albums, Miller’s bespoke arrangements provide DuMaine with just the right balance of space and support, enhancing and shaping the flow of her buoyant energy.
There’s continuity on Happy Madness with Miller and Belasco, but the bass chair is now ably covered by redoubtable Perry Thoorsell, whose recording credits include albums featuring drum legend Tootie Heath, pianist Jessica Williams and saxophonist Donny McCaslin. She’s also clearly inspired by the deft guitar work of Brad Buethe, who also contributed memorably to her previous release, 2015’s The Consequence of You (Summit). The latest addition to DuMaine’s instrumental cast is the Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Pete Cornell (Pacific Mambo Orchestra), who provides well-crafted solos on several tracks (and sounds appropriately Getzian on “Samba Saravah”).