LV'S UPTOWN - Saturday, April 29, 2006
Dave Frishberg and Rebecca Kilgore
This was my first trip to LV's since the change in staging and what a difference! The stage, which was previously located facing the bar, now faces the restaurant from the north end of the room, and seating is much more expansive with many more options for group size and dining while watching the show. For overflow, the stage can easily be seen from the bar area. I was more than impressed.
With no ado whatsoever, Jazz icon Dave Frishberg approached the stage, sat down at the piano, and began to play a medley of rousing tunes, beginning with Let's Do It and ending with Passion Flower, showing us how you get from Cole Porter to Duke Ellington in five easy steps. The Speak Low segue into Passion Flower was absolutely marvelous. Then, Rebecca approached the stage and we were all in the mood. Her first selection was the little-known Ain't No Misery In Me, and there obviously wasn't. This choice of opening number (a somewhat obscure tune) would be a theme throughout the evening. Rebecca has uncovered a vein of musical gold in her mining of wonderful little tunes like Rainy Night, He's A Tramp, Nobody Else But Me, You're A Lucky Guy, and A Woman's Intuition.
The Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields standard Pick Yourself Up had everyone keeping time, while the Frishberg/Kilgore team played off one another like the smoothly professional, perfectly balanced musical acrobats they are. It was fun to watch them perform as well as hear them - Dave looked so serious and Rebecca beamed warmth. Once in a while Dave would slide something into his accompaniment and Rebecca would smile her appreciation at him. Dave is anything but serious at heart and that comes out in many whimsical ways with his clever solos. Rebecca told me that she chooses the tunes and brings in her "own crude lead sheets," and Dave amazes her with his ability to take a tune that he's never heard and still play it beautifully.
Rebecca's voice is very distinctively her own. I tried to find comparisons to other singers and fell short. At times I was reminded of Irene Kral, but that's as close a comparison as I could make. I particularly loved her up tempo Honeysuckle Rose, a real crowd pleaser, and the following Ballerina, a little gem popularized by Nat King Cole, that always brings back great memories. Dave's chorus highlighted by a flurry of notes and Spanish-sounding overtones was a real treat and he never once cracked a smile. Rebecca's rendition of But Not For Me thrilled me to the core. Harkening back to Dave's opening Let's Do It - "let's fall in love," seemed like major foreshadowing, in retrospect. I know I certainly did, all over again, with this performance.