CD Review: ‘Just Imagine,’ The Rebecca Kilgore Trio

JUST IMAGINE
Classic Jazz at Classic Pianos
The Rebecca Kilgore Trio
With Dan Barrett and Paolo Alderighi
Blue Swing Recordings

This is a delightful trio album with Rebecca Kilgore providing vocals and occasional guitar, Dan Barrett and trombone and Paolo Alderighi on piano. Since I was already a fan of all three, when I read about the album, I ordered it immediately.

Of the fifteen selections on this album, most will be familiar to the average jazz fan—examples: Oh, Look at Me Now; Daddy, Won’t You Please Come Home and Cry Me a River. Whereas, some are less so—as Ellington’s Serenade to Sweden, I’m in a Lowdown Groove.

Paolo plays Three Coins in the Fountain as a delightful solo on the Bosendorfer piano in the studio. And as a surprise, the final piece is entitled Mis’ry and The Blues as duet by Paolo and Dan Barrett on twin Bosendorfers.

All three performers were favorites of mine already. I had seen Becky and Dan frequently at jazz parties around the country and both had appeared previously at Pensacola events. Although I’d read about Paolo and knew of his training in Milan, his interest in early jazz and his romance and marriage to American pianist Stephanie Trick, I didn’t see him in person until this February when they were featured artists at the Ragtime and Jazz Festival at Miss. State U. in Starkville.

Another plus for this album are liner notes by Michael Steinman whose jazz blog is likely familiar to many who will read this review. They mystery is why it took so long to get this delightful item into public view. It was recorded in December 2013. Hope we won’t have to wait that long for the next one.

Drum Roll, Please: Improvisation

Improvisation

Jazz is a kind of music in which improvisation is typically an important part. In jazz performances, players play solos that they make up on the spot, which requires tremendous skill.

Re-cov-er

  1. Return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.
    “Fred is recovering from shock.”
  2. Find or regain possession of (something stolen or lost)
    “Sargent Dave recovered a stolen sousaphone.”

We are in a Jazz Recovery. Nothing is normal. The Jazz Pensacola board continues with Zoom meetings. We are looking forward to getting back in the jazz arena. We “want” our jazz jams, jazz gumbos, our jazz events. However, we still “need” to be safe. That being said, we find ourselves improvising like jazz musicians getting the chance to play a solo. For safety reasons, we canceled the gumbos and jams, the Student Jazz Competition and Pensacola JazzFest!

But as improvisation would step in, we had our first student competition via recordings to the judges. It was a success. We are looking to have the Pensacola JazzFest in November — the weekend of the 14th and 15th. Improvisation took us to that date.

When this pandemic hit, everyone was affected. Jobs, schools, churches, sports, beaches, concerts, parks, theaters, restaurants, graduations, weddings and even funerals. Live music stopped.

We also lost many jazz legends to this virus — Marcelo Peralta, Manu Dibango, Mike Longo, Wallace Roney, Lee Konitz, Eddy Davis, Bucky Pizzarelli, Ellis Marsalis. It doesn’t stop there. So many others.

None of this really makes sense to me. In high school, I remember reading a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. “Accept whatever comes, and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.” This has been one of those things that stayed in my head.

We are taking the steps to a full recovery. Small steps. Improvisation at its best hour! I hope and know I will be seeing you soon.

Stay tuned. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Namaste

Fred Domulot
President
Jazz Pensacola

Two musicians and a drummer are at a bar …

A jazz broadcaster has fond memories of JazzFest

Editor’s note: Michael Gourrier is a New Orleans native, now living in Richmond, Va. He has been broadcasting jazz for 43 years, initially in Galveston, TX in the early 70s and then at WWOZ-FM in New Orleans for another 24 years. After Hurricane Katrina, he relocated to Richmond, VA in 2006 and has been affiliated with WRIR-FM and was named Jazz Director in 2008.

Michael has been affiliated with University of New Orleans and Loyola University as well as serving in various capacities at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro. He has also served as Master of Ceremonies at several Satchmo Summerfests.

Michael Gourrier

Currently he’s guest lecturer at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Jazz Studies Department. He’s been presenter at both the Richmond Jazz Festival and the Richmond Folk Festival.

Michael has made donation of CDs to Jazz Pensacola for our Jazz Room at downtown West Florida Public Library and for our CD sales.

Michael wrote: “I am a living testimony to the pleasure that was the Pensacola Jazz Festival. I looked forward to the Spring of the year to make my annual trek to Pensacola to experience America’s Original Performance Art Form under a shady tree right on the Gulf of Mexico.

“My old friend, Dr. Norm Vickers and his krewe of aficionados would line up a really nice presentation on a yearly basis of national acts along with regional and local performers to whet the appetite of any serious music devotee.

Michael Gourrier.

“Highlights over several years, in no particular order, included former Charlie Parker Bandleader Jay McShann; phenom at the time, Christopher Holliday; native Floridian, Nat Adderley with multitalented Larry Willis on piano; the inimitable Miss Betty Carter. From California came the rocking aggregation of Jimmy and Jeannie Cheatham and the Sweet Bay Blues Band that included one of Charles Mingus’ teachers Red Callendar. From Philadelphia, the student of the occult, Kenny Barron (Marie Laveau, Things Unseen, Other Places). Vibe Master and educator, Gary Burton showed how four mallets are handled. Also, vibes master Bobby Hutcherson wowed the audience.

“They are all just fond, pleasant memories lingering over the Gulf. And the band played on!”

Editor’s note: Gourrier refers primarily to the period 1988 to 1997 when Pensacola JazzFest was under the superb direction of WUWF-FM with Jazz Society and Pensacola Arts Council in supporting roles.

Remembering Bob Haggart

Bassist Bob Haggart (1914 -1998) was a remarkable person in many ways. He’s known to most as a string bassist. But he was also a composer and talented artist.

He was guest bassist for the three Pensacola Jazz Parties 1989-1991 and at the 1991 event, trumpeter Yank Lawson also attended. Lawson had been a colleague with him in the Lawson-Haggart Jazz Band and also, they led the World’s Greatest Jazz Band from 1968-1998.

Haggart was best known for two compositions, Big Noise from “Winnetka” and the ballad What’s New?

Photo by Norman Vickers

But I should also mention Haggart’s tune My Inspiration and his co-composition also with drummer Ray Baduc, South Rampart Street Parade.

Bob’s artistic talents can be seen on several record covers. When he’d go to a recording session, during the lag times, he’d sketch scenes from the session. These have been featured on record covers, especially LPs since there was adequate room to show artwork. Haggart also was a painter, like vocalist Tony Bennett. I was told that his art frequently won prizes in art exhibits.

Photo by Norman Vickers

The story I heard about the spontaneous composition by Haggart and Baduc came about when they were entertaining a group from Winnetka. Baduc was a talented New Orleans drummer and the spontaneous bass and drum composition included Haggart whistling through his teeth and Baduc taking part of his solo by beating on the bass strings while Haggart did left handed fingering of bass strings to provide the melody. This tune became so popular that emerging string bassists were almost required to add this piece to the jazz bassist repertoire.

Photo by Norman Vickers

The second composition that requires mention is Haggart’s 1939 ballad, What’s New? with lyrics by Johnny Burke. I was at an Arbors Jazz Party in the ‘90s and Roger Kellaway was playing solo piano on stage. He played a very angular and dissonant arrangement of Haggart’s ballad. I happened to be standing next to Haggart and asked him if he was pained to hear his lovely tune stretched and distorted to this degree. His reply, “No it doesn’t bother me. There was one man who made tape recordings of arrangements of What’s New and sent them to me. It filled up two cassettes. I don’t know why anybody would want to do that.”

Thanks Bob, wherever you are in the hereafter. Thanks for enriching our lives!

Arbors Records has a CD entitled “Piano Giants at Bob Haggart’s 80th Birthday Party.”