Congratulations are in order to the splendidly swinging Rebecca Kilgore Quartet (formerly known as B E D) — a very gratifying group that has just completed its first decade of appearances, recordings, and accolades. They are Rebecca Kilgore, vocals and rhythm guitar; Eddie Erickson, vocals, guitar, banjo, and hi-jinks; Dan Barrett, trombone, cornet, arrangements, vocals, piano, and travelogues; Joel Forbes, string bass.
Here they are — plus the wonderful New Orleans clarinetist Tim Laughlin — to show us what true spaciousness, even amplitude means — I’ll translate that as THAT’S A PLENTY — recorded at the much-missed Sweet and Hot Music Festival in 2011:
There are many other small groups out there clamoring for our attention, but the RK4 is special. For one thing, they are an engaging bunch: there is always laughter on the stand, and the audience is encouraged to join in. This quartet quickly turns listeners into friends. There’s always something happening during their performances, which are delightfully varied — Becky floats delicately above the rocking rhythms provided by Eddie and Joel; Dan takes a cornet solo backed by Eddie’s banjo; Eddie sings a tender ballad or Becky shows off her multilingual prowess in French or Portuguese. Dan shifts over to the piano to turn the band into a modern King Cole trio . . . the hour goes by too quickly.
Here’s what I wrote in 2010 about their glorious CD, YES, INDEED!
The Rebecca Kilgore Quartet has appeared at jazz festivals and parties worldwide — from Roswell, New Mexico, to Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Monterey in California, to Odessa, Texas and Clearwater Beach, Florida; they’ve done concerts and student outreach programs; they’ve appeared on the JazzFest at Sea Cruise; they perform at private parties big and small. Since they joined forces a decade ago, they’ve created five rewarding compact discs: GET READY FOR B E D (2002) ; BEDlam (2004); WATCH OUT! (2006); B E D Four + 1 (2008); YES, INDEED! (2010) — all available on the Blue Swing Fine Recordings label.*
When they began to delight listeners a decade ago, their stated goal was “to swing and have fun.” This hasn’t changed. In fact, they’ve gotten better — offering lively, joyous music that you don’t have to be a “jazz fan” to enjoy.
I hear them in my dreams.
My only problem in writing this celebratory post is a philosophical one. Should we be wishing the RK4 a Happy Birthday or a Happy Anniversary? Readers are invited to write in with suggestions — but, better yet, pick a date for your next celebration and make sure that the RK4 is there, too.
*About those discs. Each one is a treat . . . but that’s no surprise. I always think the best way to buy one is to find the RK4 on a gig and get the discs direct, but I realize that isn’t always possible. The most recent one, YES, INDEED! is available here (that’s CDBaby). For the others, you could go to the source — www.rebeccakilgore.com or email the lady herself at info@rebeccakilgore. (Becky’s got info. Who could ask for anything more?)
May your happiness increase.