During the past few years, pianist Dave Miller has been featured on a variety of memorable recordings including his own Just Imagine and several projects with his daughter singer Rebecca DuMaine. Named The Mask-erade Is Over as a reminder of the Covid pandemic, Miller’s is heard in top form on his latest recording. Joined by bassist Andrew Higgins and his longtime drummer Bill Belasco, Dave Miller creates a well-rounded set that mixes together familiar numbers with superior obscurities.
Miller, whose playing at times hints at George Shearing, Bill Evans and Ahmad Jamal while creating fresh ideas in his own musical personality, begins the set with Dizzy Gillespie’s “Anthropology,” a bebop classic that serves as a perfect introduction to his trio.
Other highlights include the 1930s Bing Crosby hit “Be Careful, It’s My Heart” (inspired by Peggy Lee’s version with George Shearing), Bill Evans’ “The Opener,” a surprisingly fast version of “This Masquerade Is Over,” Noel Coward’s “Someday I’ll Find You,” Charlie Parker’s “Yardbird Suite,” Dave Brubeck’s “In Your Own Sweet Way,” Miller’s original swinger “Dusty,” the warm ballad “Why Did I Choose You,” and Bud Powell’s “Hallucinations.” Throughout this very enjoyable outing, Dave Miller makes every note count, plays with taste and creativity, and his tight trio often thinks as one.
Dave Miller grew up in Long Island, New York, had extensive classical piano lessons, and learned to play jazz by ear. He was inspired early on by George Shearing’s recordings and seeing Ahmad Jamal in concert. Miller played at a variety of engagements while in high school and college but, when he became a lawyer, jazz took a back seat for a time. However he never stopped playing and had regular opportunities to perform at Bay Area clubs and a wide range of private and political functions.Following several privately produced recordings, in 2009 Miller recorded his first album on the Summit label, Rapture, with Bill Belasco and bassist Mario Suraci, displaying his own style in straight ahead jazz. During the past decade he and his trio have often worked with his daughter, the talented jazz singer Rebecca DuMaine, recording with her on six albums: DeedI Do, Better Than Anything, The Consequence Of You, Happy Madness, Chez Nous and SomedaySomeday.
The pianist also recorded Just Imagine, a tribute to George Shearing. Now with the release of The Mask-erade Is Over and the gradual end of the pandemic, Dave Miller looks forward to going on tours and performing with his daughter. Lovers of straight ahead jazz piano have much to look forward to.
Musicians: Dave Miller – Piano, Andrew Higgins – Bass, Bill Belasco – Drums
- Anthropology (Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie) 2:53
- Be Careful It’s My Heart (Irving Berlin) 3:03
- The Masquerade Is Over (Allie Wrubel/Herb Magidson) 5:08
- The Opener (Bill Evans) 3:06
- Someday I’ll Find You (Noel Coward) 2:59
- You Don’t Know What Love Is (Gene DePaul; Don Raye) 5:56
- Yardbird Suite (Charlie Parker) 3:05
- Estate (Bruno Martino) 3:21
- In Your Own Sweet Way (Dave Brubeck) 3:29
- The Blue Room (Richard Rodgers; Lorenz Hart) 2:46
- Dusty (Dave Miller) 3:41
- Why Did I Choose You (Michael Leonard) 4:23
- Hallucinations (Earl “Bud” Powell) 3:05
- Just Imagine (Ray Henderson; G. Desylva; Lew Brown) 5:06