A few nights ago, Rebecca Kilgore and pianist Randy Porter gave a delightful duo-concert at the Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland, California. Randy was performing on a brand-new Yamaha CPX piano, and Rebecca brought her own beautiful instruments: her creamy voice, her wise, light-hearted interpretations. And although Becky is always heralded as “an interpreter of the Great American Songbook,” she has a very expansive repertoire, going back seventy-five years and forward to contemporary music by Nellie McKay.
Here are some highlights of that evening.
Sammy Fain’s I HEAR THE MUSIC NOW:
Nellie McKay’s I WANNA GET MARRIED:
The Rodgers and Hammerstein edgy declaration of thwarted love, THE GENTLEMAN IS A DOPE:
Dave Frishberg’s ZANZIBAR:
Johnny Mercer’s JAMBOREE JONES, with its roller-coaster tongue-twisting lyrics:
and the lovely hip lullaby, thanks to Mercer and Harold Arlen, HIT THE ROAD TO DREAMLAND:
My ears, as always, were focused on the Kilgore magic — gently gliding through the lyrics, making them even more meaningful, gently improvising, making the melodies shine . . . but our Mr. Porter is astonishing: his command of the piano, his touch, his harmonic depths and always-surprising but beautiful inventions. And what a beautiful place Piedmont is . . . wonderful-sounding instruments everywhere. And they have regular concert performances from a wide variety of artists: click here.
Don’t you wish your local piano emporium had a Kilgore recital on the calendar?
May your happiness increase!