Just Imagine – Dave Miller Trio

Just Imagine – Dave Miller Trio

Label: Summit Records

Release date: Oct 2019

Catalog number: 753

Tracks:

> One for the Woofer
comp: Billy Taylor
Track Not Yet Available For Purchase
> You Took Advantage of Me
comp: Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart
Track Not Yet Available For Purchase
> The Bebop Irishman
comp: Ray Bryant
Track Not Yet Available For Purchase
> I'd Love to Make Love to You
comp: Bob Emerich
Track Not Yet Available For Purchase
> Bittersweet
comp: Sam Jones
Track Not Yet Available For Purchase
> A Foggy Day
comp: George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin
Track Not Yet Available For Purchase
> A Beautiful Friendship
comp: Donald Kahn
Track Not Yet Available For Purchase
> Confirmation
comp: Charlie Parker
Track Not Yet Available For Purchase
> You Must Believe in Spring
comp: Michel Legrand
Track Not Yet Available For Purchase
> This Time the Dream's on Me
comp: Harold Arlen
Track Not Yet Available For Purchase
> Careful
comp: Jim Hall
Track Not Yet Available For Purchase
> A Time for Love
comp: Johnny Mandel, Paul Francis Webster
Track Not Yet Available For Purchase
> All My Tomorrows
comp: Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen
Track Not Yet Available For Purchase
> Just Imagine
comp: Ray Henderson, B.G.DeSylva, Lew Brown
Track Not Yet Available For Purchase

Pianist Dave Miller has been a fixture on the Northern California jazz scene for quite a few years. Early in his life he discovered the music of George Shearing whose quintet made bebop accessible in the 1950s, and he considers
Shearing an important influence on his own playing although Miller has his own voice in straight ahead jazz.

George Shearing was born August 13, 1919 so Just Imagine is a celebration of his centennial in addition to being a tribute to his artistry and the wide range of his music. Rather than recreating Shearing’s hits, Miller and his regular trio with bassist Chuck Bennett and drummer Bill Belasco perform both standards and superior obscurities that Shearing had played along the way.

Among the highlights are a joyful version of Billy Taylor’s “One For The Woofer,” “You Took Advantage Of Me” (which has counterpoint in its first chorus between Miller and Bennett that is reminiscent of Shearing and bassist Brian Torff), “The Bebop Irishman” (a Ray Bryant piece that had not been recorded since 1963), and “I’d Love to Make Love to You” which was introduced by Nat King Cole in 1946. On the latter, Miller plays in the
block hand style that Shearing often utilized.

The other selections include bassist Sam Jones’ catchy “Bittersweet,” “A Beautiful Friendship,” Charlie Parker’s “Confirmation,” “This Time The Dream’s On Me,” a Latin version of “A Time For Love” and “All My Tomorrows.”
The pianist also adds variety to the program by creating a duet apiece with Bennett (“You Must Believe In Spring”) and Belasco (Jim Hall’s “Careful”) and two unaccompanied solos (“A Foggy Day” and “Just Imagine”).

On Just Imagine, Dave Miller is very much in the spotlight, performing George Shearing-inspired music that will delight anyone who loves straight ahead jazz.

 

 

REVIEW:

Amazing George Shearing Piano tribute Dave Miller Trio – JUST IMAGINE:  One of the sweetest things about being a music reviewer who has been on-the-scene for a few years is that I know wonderful albums will always be coming my way, and in the case of this amazing George Shearing Piano tribute from Dave Miller, it’s a piano-lover’s dream… since this doesn’t release until October, 2019, you won’t find samples up yet, so you’ll have to trust my ears until I’m told they’ve been posted; in the meantime, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to Dave’s TOPIC channel on YouTube, to see & hear previous performances.

The new release features Dave’s marvelous piano, of course, and he’s joined by Chuck Bennet on bass and Bill Belasco doing drums… tunes like the opener, “One for the Woofer” will make you fall in love with the trio immediately… lively, with rich tones and superb recording, it’s one of the best piano-led performances I’ve heard (yet) in 2019.

You’re not going to believe the “zest” you’ll hear on “The Bebop Irishman”… the tempo is WAY “up”, and you’ll find yourself dancin’ ’round the room as though you just found your own pot-o-gold!

A slightly more laid-back mood is projected on “A Foggy Day”, with the piano having just a great time all the way through the tune… SOLID, SOLID, folks.

After listening through the album twice, it was easy to choose my personal favorite of the fourteen splendid jazz adventures offered up… the title track and closer, “Just Imagine”, a beautiful unaccompanied solo… I predict that this tune will be getting some MAJOR airplay on jazz stations ’round the globe.

I give Dave and his players a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 4.98 for this fine album.            

-Contemporary Fusion by Dick Metcalf

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