From the start of the opening selection on this CD, When In Rome, Rebecca DuMaine displays a beautiful tone, perfect articulation, a real understanding of the words she is singing, a friendly and inviting musical personality, superior placement of notes (which are always in tune), and a swinging style.
The daughter of pianist Dave Miller, Rebecca was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. “I remember hearing George Shearing when I was a child because my Dad always played his records. My Mom liked Peggy Lee, Nancy Wilson and Nat King Cole. As a teenager in the 1980s, while I listened to pop music, whenever I drove a car I would put on the jazz station because it reminded me of home.” She earned a degree in drama from Duke University, moved to New York City, and was an actress, working in commercials and touring with classical theater productions. She became very interested in teaching, earning a graduate degree at Rutgers.
Rebecca also rediscovered her love of singing. “I liked jazz singing much better than the musical theater style. I had a few gigs in New York including at the Rainbow Room, moved back to Northern California in 2010, and did some jazz workshops, studying with Kitty Margolis and Madeleine Eastman.” And most importantly, she began working with her father’s trio.
Dave Miller started playing piano when he was three, studied classical music, and has led a trio since the 1970s. He has long been a lover of the Shearing sound. “I particularly loved how George Shearing accompanied vocalists, but had not had that much experience in that setting until Rebecca came back. She has changed the whole orientation of how I play, and it’s been quite fun providing support for her. The thing that initially made the greatest impact on me when she started singing with us was her very clear and crisp articulation, and how on stage her professional acting creates an impression that captivates an audience.
Chez Nous – Rebecca DuMaine and the Dave Miller Combo
High spirited impeccable jazz vocals Rebecca DuMaine and the Dave Miller Combo – CHEZ NOUS: There was a time (way back in my earliest years) that I was totally fascinated by all the ladies doing jazz vocals… Peggy Lee, Nancy Wilson & a whole host of others… Rebecca and her players (Dave Miller on piano; Chuck Bennett doing bass; Bill Belasco on drums and Brad Buethe playing guitar) bring that whole era back on their splendid fourteen-song release. Songs like “So Danco Samba” (samples will be here soon; the album drops on June 7th, 2019) will have you up and dancing ’round the ballroom floor for the rest of the evening.
I did SUBSCRIBE to Rebecca’s YouTube topic channel, though you won’t find any LIVE songs from the new album there (yet; hint, hint). One of the most unique things about Rebecca’s vocals is her impeccable elocution… every word & every syllable is pure precision… that adds an element of sophistication you don’t often get these days, especially on tunes like the light-hearted “Give me the Simple Life”… simply amazing work that I predict will be getting MAJOR airplay!
Dave’s piano on “Do It The Hard Way” is an absolutely perfect compliment to Rebecca’s excellent jazz vocal, and the rest of the band is “right on time” the whole way through… this is (unquestionably) my personal favorite of the fourteen tunes offered up for your jazz enjoyment.
I give Rebecca and her players a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98…
REBECCA DUMAINE and the Dave Miller Combo/Chez Nous: The father/daughter team that knows how to swing the oldies is at it again with another set that finds the vocalist making her daddy proud swinging through a set list that loves this kind of rejuvenation. With everyone cooking on all eight, this classic thrush date is right in the pocket throughout as it goes on it’s merry way with the kind of oomph that it takes to please both moldy figs and newbies. Well done.
-Midwest Record by Chris Spector
Chez Nous (Summit – 748) is the fourth album by vocalist REBECCA DuMAINE and the DAVE MILLER COMBO. Like the prior three, the program consists primarily of superb songs from the Great American Songbook, tunes like “When in Rome,” “I’ve Never Been in Love Before,” “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was,” “You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me” and “Give Me the Simple Life.” DuMaine is a singer who immediately falls easily on your ears. She has a mellow voice, gives the lyrics full attention, and has a nice jazz-influenced approach to phrasing. Pianist Miller, who shares the arranging credits with DuMaine, is a swinging and effective accompanist. The other players, guitarist Brad Buethe, bassist Chuck Bennett and drummer Bill Belasco, form a wonderfully supportive rhythm section. The participants are based in the Bay area of California, but their talent reaches out to wherever their recordings are played.
-Jersey Jazz by Joe Lang
Jazz singer Rebecca Dumaine is at home in the American Songbook. Since returning to the San Francisco Bay in 2010, she has been part of talented jazz singers there. Since 2011 she works with the Dave Miller Combo, who is also her father. Rebecca grew up listening to her father on the piano. She cultivated a band with jazz, and specifically with the American Songbook. After graduating from Duke University, she moved to New York City, had children there, but decided in 2010 to relocate to California. The playful “When In Rome” opens the album, followed by the Brazilian “So Danco Samba”. “I’ve Never Been In Love Before” is mid-tempo, followed by the hurried “Everything I’ve Got Belongs to You”. On “Chez Moi” she sings in French, and “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” comes loose. A Latin jazz version of “Tangerine” is the next track, followed by the Beatles cover “Yesterday”. And the playful “You’re Getting to be a Habit With Me” precedes the Grover Washington, Jr. cover “Just the Two of Us”. The optimistic ‘Give Me the Simple Life’ is the next song, followed by ‘Alice In Wonderland’. “Do It the Hard Way” is less known, and the “Que Reste-t-il / I Wish You Love” medley combines French with English on bossa nova. A great collaboration between father and daughter, a pleasant CD.
-Keysandchords.com, Patrick Van de Wiele (4)