Better Than Anything is about past and present, songs and singers, influences and memories, and father-and-daughter chemistry. It's the second album, following Deed I Do (Summit Records, 2012), that finds vocalist Rebeccas DuMaine joining forces with her father, pianist Dave Miller.
DuMaine and Miller share more than genetic code, as they both seem to thrive in customized, straightforward settings. They don't really try to do anything out of the ordinary, but they aren't about mundane music making either. DuMaine and Miller basically take these songs down the center lane, have a blast doing it, and remind the world that too much ado has been made about too-clever-by-half arrangements and performances.
All fifteen tracks on this album are tightly organized numbers that fall into the two-and-a-half to four-and-a-half minute range. Miller's solos are concise and well-formed, DuMaine's performances are poised and pleasing, and bassist Mario Suraci and drummer Bill Belasco prove to be solid backers all the way through.
The program includes nods to Frank Sinatra ("Oh, Look At Me Now"), Irene Kral ("Better Than Anything"), Antonio Carlos Jobim ("No More Blues" and "Dreamer") and numerous others, but DuMaine doesn't try to recreate what those artists did with these songs. She just finds inspiration in their work and goes on her way, delivering the songs as she pleases.
Better Than Anything is simply a smartly-tailored collection of songs put together by a foursome that knows of what it speaks.
Track Listing: Better Than Anything; You for Me; Sometime Ago; Oh, Look at Me Now; No
More Blues; What Is There to Say; I'm Gonna Go Fishin'; Telephone Song;
I Just Found Out About Love; It Might as Well Be Spring.
Personnel: Rebecca DuMaine: vocals; Dave Miller: piano; Mario Suraci: bass; Bill
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.