“Becky” we know as our own Rebecca Kilgore, deeply moving but ever so natural — in pearly form for this Saturday morning set at Jazz at Chautauqua, surrounded by gentlemen with similar names: John Sheridan, piano; Jon Burr, string bass; John Von Ohlen, drums.
But the “Harry” in the title was neither Billy Crystal nor Harry Allen. It was “Harry Warren,” born Salvatore Antonio Guaragna in 1893, author of more hit songs (musically valuable ones, as well) than almost any of his peers. Here are five, each one its own little concerto — full of emotion and humor.
With its rarely-heard verse, here’s YOU’RE GETTING TO BE A HABIT WITH ME:
The classically pretty YOU’RE MY EVERYTHING:
NO LOVE, NO NOTHIN’ comes from a film musical, THE GANG’S ALL HERE, with Benny Goodman and Alice Faye. It’s a classic wartime song, but it makes the vignette of fidelity-under-duress seem new:
I associate SERENADE IN BLUE with Glenn Miller and many other singers, but none bring to it the depth of casual feeling that Becky does here. And listen very closely to what she does with the two versions of the phrase “whistling in the dark”:
Both Dick Powell and Art Tatum put their stamp on WITH PLENTY OF MONEY AND YOU, and Ms. Kilgore romps away with it here:
Thanks to our Rebecca for creating something so touching, so light-hearted, yet so deep. I would send any singer to her work to admire, to study. And let’s not omit the floating, on-target provided by the three gentlemen surrounding her: their melodies, their gracious accompaniment, their rhythmic embrace. Together, they made for a memorable half-hour — sweet stylings without artifice.
Rebecca Kilgore’s gotten to be a habit with us, one we have no intention of breaking.