The Rebecca Kilgore Trio Vol. 1

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The Rebecca Kilgore Trio Vol. 1

(A Heavywood Recording)

April 12, 2021

Reviewed by Alix Cohen

Rebecca Kilgore has an urbane approach to jazz. Her vocals manage to be both light and plummy. Phrasing is supple, affectation free; instrumentals are eloquent. The material is eclectic.

“Day In, Day Out” (Rube Bloom/Johnny Mercer) arrives up-tempo, bobbing-bass driven. Kilgore sings with a smile in her voice. “Somebody Just like You” (Dan Davis/Meredith D’Ambrosio) is savory and earthy. An understated bass and cornet buoy the tune. The piano adds sybaritic flourishes.

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In “Run Little Raindrop, Run” (Mack Gordon/Harry Warren) phrases emerge, rise and dip down in arcs. Her delivery is bright and chipper. “I’ve got a date with a place in the sun/So run little raindrop run.” The piano slips/slides; scat is soft and swirly.

“Azure” (Don Wolfe/Bill Davis/Duke Ellington/Irving Mills) enters with a resigned shrug. “Gone and got the blues in Paris/How can I be blue in Paris?/Easy cause you’re far away.” “Doos doos” are shadowed by vocal echo. Lyrical naturalism pervades. “Talking to Myself About You” (Axel Stordahl/Paul Weston/Irving Taylor; verse by Rebecca Kilgore) has a delicate, laid-back timbre. The piano sighs arpeggios.

“I Wanna Get Married” (Nellie Marie McKay) is a plaintive throwback to 1950s wishes, a cozy tune that’s resolute but light handed. Piano muses. “Like the Brightest Star” (Harry Allen/Greg Oppenheimer) is fizzy and declarative with playful scat. “That Sunday That Summer” (George David Weiss/Joe Sherman) offers phrases that swing like hammocks. The vocal is whispery and intoxicating. Her interpretation of “The Gentleman Is a Dope” (Richard Rodgers/ Oscar Hammerstein II) is tart and skittish. There’s not a jot of the maudlin.

To my mind, the only song that doesn’t work is “Because We’re Kids” (Doctor Seuss/ Frederick Hollander) whose juxtaposition of elevated jazz and simple children’s thoughts doesn’t sync.

“There’s a Small Hotel” (Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart) is performed with relish. Bass noodles along with a wink. The vocal is happy-go-lucky and lustrous.

Randy Porter is on piano, Tom Wakeling on bass, and Dick Titterton on cornet.

Alix Cohen

Alix Cohen’s writing began with poetry, segued into lyrics then took a commercial detour. She now authors pieces about culture/the arts, including reviews and features. A diehard proponent of cabaret, she’s also a theater aficionado, a voting member of Drama Desk, The Drama League and of The NY Press Club in addition to MAC. Currently, Alix writes for Cabaret Scenes, Theater Pizzazz and Woman Around Town. Additional pieces have been published by The New York Post, The National Observer’s Playground Magazine, Pasadena Magazine and Times Square Chronicles. Alix is the recipient of six New York Press Club Awards.