What do "Doxy," "Cottontail," "Dear Bix" and "I Wanna Get Married" all have in common? Clues to a party game on some lost episode of Playboy After Dark? Give up? All make an appearance on Rebecca Kilgore
's "swing and have fun" release, which is just what Kilgore and her co-conspirators (including her husband, Dick Titterington
, on cornet) accomplish. Eclectic is the word for this marvelous compilation, whose composers run from Rube Bloom
to Richard Rodgers.
. But that's good. Putting the recording on and hearing "Dear Bix" was like reliving a summer Saturday night listening to Jim Cullum
's "Live from the Landing" circa 1990, no small thing. But then again, Kilgore really hit the memory traces with Nat King Cole
's "That Sunday, That Summer," which beats Percy Faith
and "A Summer Place" for sigh, lost youth. And you thought Cole owned that song and the evocation of the summer of 1963, but he doesn't. At least not any longer.
How many ways can you sell a familiar song? Well, take "The Gentleman is A Dope," which is more ironic than disillusioned, and bright, even in its minor key, because Kilgore takes it slightly up from its customary tempo. This is what adventuresome musicians can do with "conventional" material from the Great American Songbook. It doesn't have to be dull. Maybe you never heard the "Because We're Kids" lyrics by one Doctor Seuss. Oh, oh. Trigger warning. They are, gasp, woke "Just because you wear a wallet near your heart, You think you're twice as smart, You know that isn't fair." Oh, yeah, sung up front in even quarter notes, just for emphasis. One's faith in Dr Seuss is restored. And Kilgore's ongoing project of rescuing interesting tunes from death by neglect is clearly validated..
Who doesn't like "There's Small Hotel," generally identified with Chet Baker
? Kilgore takes it down a bit, in a very matter of fact way. This is the way a slightly whimsical and experienced woman who's lived a little would take the song. Her version does not record the enthusiasm of a first assignation. Kilgore does not sound like she's reading from anyone's script other than her own. Age sometimes matters, and not just in wine and cheese. Experience shows and it only deepens, rather than diminishes art.
"Doxy," "Cottontail," "Dear Bix," well, you'll have to hear the CD to solve the puzzle. Hint: pianist Randy Porter
does have a great sense of humor. Tom Wakeling
's time and sound are never obtrusive, but are always there. Swing and have fun, indeed. You will.
Dear Bix; Day In-Day Out; Somobody Just Like You; Run, Little Raindrop, Run; Azure-te/Azure; Talking to Myself About You; Old Soft Shoe; I Wanna Get Married; Like the Brightest Star; That Sunday That Summer; The Gentleman
Is A Dope; Because We're Kids; There is a Small Hotel