If you've been missing Lani Hall—after all, over the last almost 20 years, she's released only 6 discs—then I suggest this disc as remedy, as Rebecca DuMaine's voice and sparkling tone quite strongly call back to Hall's prowess. Then shade Janis Siegel (Manhattan Transfer) in there and you're pretty much perfectly in the ballpark. DuMaine grew up with a love of music and especially of jazz due to her dad's enamorment with Bill Evans, George Shearing, and others, sounds that were always in the family house…not necessarily via LPs and CDs, though, but rather her father's own musicianship, to which she'd fall blissfuly asleep as a child. Well, childhood can last a very long time, as her dad's name is Dave Miller (Rebecca took on the stage pseudonym 'DuMaine' because the union already listed a 'Rebecca Miller'), and that's him and his trio you hear on Better than Anything.
The rapport is apparent from the git-go but really jumps out on cuts like I'm Gonna Go Fishin'. I'm not sure who did the arranging for the CD, the liner doesn't state, but it sounds like both must've, as each measure weds pianistics and vocals beautifully. DuMaine shines in her punctuatorial skills, each verse of every song clear, separate, and abundantly inflected while Miller dances the keys all around her, especially in It Might as Well be Spring and Oh, Look at Me Now. You can practically envision an Astaire and Rogers as you listen. Though the cuts are mostly Great American songbook, DuMaine has a taste for Lenny Bernstein and 'Tonio Jobim as well, and they kinda underscore the more modernist flavor and spark present, the pianistics providing synergistic impetus in that department, bouncing all over the place. Lotsa happiness and sunshine throughout this release, and you might even find yourself waltzing around the kitchen as you listen and do the dishes, hummin', hipswaying, and be-bopping.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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