Album Review of
Just Imagine

Written by Joe Ross
October 18, 2019 - 4:01pm EDT
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Based in Northern California, Dave Miller is an impressive pianist who gives us wonderful straight ahead jazz full of dynamic technique, sparkling phrases and rhythmic verve. He clearly demonstrates a George Shearing style that is best known for elements of boogie-woogie, bop, Latin and even blues and gospel. Miller’s playing also tastefully uses block chords, counterpoint and unison lines on a nicely chosen set of material featuring both standards and less oft-heard gems that Shearing had played. Listen for these techniques in songs like “I'd Love to Make Love to You” and "You Took Advantage of Me.” As Shearing was born August 13, 1919, David Miller (along with bassist Chuck Bennett and drummer Bill Belasco) present this album as a centennial celebration and tribute to the influential pianist and his material. Highlights are the trio’s swinging arrangement of “A Beautiful Friendship” and a carefree version of “One for the Woofer.” “The Bebop Irishman” is a unique and somewhat obscure Ray Bryant piece. Latin flavorings are heard in “A Time for Love” and “All My Tomorrows.” Dave Miller adds variety by offering duets with Bennett (“You Must Believe In Spring”) and Belasco (“Careful”), as well as two solo piano selection (“A Foggy Day” and “Just Imagine”). This is a fine, pleasurable album with clean, vibrant music reminiscent of George Shearing. And I sure wouldn’t mind hear Dave Miller expand his band to a quintet (by adding guitar and vibes) to recreate the sound of Shearing’s extremely popular and widely recorded group from 1949-1967.  (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)