Album Review of
Vol. 1

Written by Joe Ross
April 29, 2021 - 2:32pm EDT
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I first heard Rebecca Gilgore about 1980 with a 5-piece jazz band called The Wholly Cats at a Portland, Or. restaurant called Brasserie Montmartre. After that group disbanded a few years later, Rebecca Gilgore started her own band. Since then, she’s been busy with performing, recording and teaching. Her first album, I Saw Stars, was released in 1996. After meeting saxophonist Harry Allen at The March of Jazz in Clearwater Beach, Fl., the pair became regular collaborators and recorded eight albums.

Now fronting her own trio with Randy Porter (piano) and Tom Wakeling (bass), Gilgore has found a nice body of material to present, in mostly relaxed, laid back settings. Gilgore takes a leisurely, espressive approach to interpreting lyrics and harmonizing with herself in “Azure-té / Azure” and telling stories in songs like Dave Frishberg’s “Dear Bix” and Nellie McKay’s “I Wanna Get Married.” She’s exuberant in selections from the Great American Songbook such as “Day In - Day Out” and “The Gentlemen is a Dope,” the latter an assertive song from Rodgers and Hammerstein that isn’t performed that often. Porter’s updated harmonies behind Gilgore’s phrasing and delivery make the song sound fresh and new. I especially perked up when the trio presented less-oft-heard pieces, “Because We’re Kids” and “Old Soft Shoe” and “Run, Little Raindrop, Run.” A couple tracks, “Somebody Just Like You” and “Like the Brightest Star,” are sweetly colored with gentle, understated cornet from Gilgore’s husband, Dick Titterington. Gilgore also really connects with “Talking to Myself About You,” a song introduced with her own self-penned verse before digging into lyrics that Peggy Lee made famous in 1948.

Rebecca Gilgore Trio’s Vol. 1 has a soothing calm and lovely, lilting quality. I look forward to hearing more releases from the group, and I’m sure that they’ll be equally full of charm and personality. Besides tapping standards and not-so-standards, Gilgore displays the talent and versatility to sing a wide variety of pleasing material from anthems to improvised works, and pop to original material. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)