Quite often, in the world of jazz vocalists, a line can be drawn between those that over do it, and those that don’t. Certainly some of our favorite singers, from Billie Holiday to Chet Baker and Peggy Lee, are singers who keep their ‘cool‘. Rebecca DuMaine doesn’t exactly sound like any of those three, she certainly has a little more exuberance than the often overly subdued Chet, but she definitely falls more in that tradition that doesn’t try to blow you away with vocal theatrics. Even for those who might feel a bit apprehensive about jazz vocals, DuMaine will win you over with her unpretentious and effortlessly swinging and contagiously upbeat approach to some classic, and some lesser known tunes.
DuMaine’s choice of material on here gets into some interesting songs, such as “Beautiful Love”, that have been overlooked by others. Overall the choice of classic standards is good as well, and she somehow manages to breathe new life into the often over-recorded “One Note Samba”. The only song that seems to over do her natural positive vibes is “Put on a Happy Face”, but to her credit, this song probably works better live, as it sounds like she really is behind the lyrics, ha.
Another plus about this CD is that it really comes across like a live jam, all the musicians take expressive solos, pianist Dave Miller (also Rebecca’s father) in particular, shows a lot of inventive energy and humor in his rides. Dave is obviously influenced by elegant pianists like George Shearing and Bill Evans, but his solos also show a mischievous Monk-like influence as well. Whereas a lot of east coast jazz reflects smoky barrooms and bustling crowded streets, this very California sounding jam session sounds more like a sunny Sunday afternoon on an outdoor deck at a club that features some fine local wine. Enjoy!