Rebecca Kilgore & Dave Frishberg

Starlit Hour

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The secret to Rebecca Kilgore's success is very simple: Her vocals are unpretentious but always swing effortlessly, whether she's performing a familiar standard or a forgotten chestnut. Accompanied by Dave Frishberg -- a talented yet underrated veteran pianist with whom she has collaborated many times on record, at jazz parties and in recurring guest appearances on the National Public Radio program Fresh Air -- they delight their audience with this live set taped in 1997 at ~the Heathman Hotel in Portland, OR. Another of Kilgore's strengths is her restoration of often-omitted verses, which aren't filler but set up a song as the composer intended. Although many of the songs in this collection are familiar, most of them had fallen out of favor with jazz artists by the dawn of the 21st century, though the duo's imaginative treatment of each song, while never losing the essence of each melody, shows why each composition has stood the test of time very well indeed. A listener may get the feeling that he or she is an audience of one, receiving the performers' undivided attention, a mood which is only interrupted briefly with the applause heard in between numbers. Her playful interpretation of "Everything Happens to Me" and revival of the long-lost gem by Johnny Mercer, "Not Mine," are among the many highlights of this very enjoyable evening. ~ Ken Dryden, Rovi