Rebecca Kilgore is one of America’s greatest living jazz singers, and she tells a story in song like no other vocalist. On this digital EP release she delivers masterful renderings of six songs by award-winning composer Ellen Vanderslice.
The album opens with the hip classic “Moonshadow Dance,” with music co-composed by Mike Horsfall, which won First Place Jazz in the 2002 USA Songwriting Competition. Accompanying Rebecca Kilgore are the incomparable Randy Porter on piano, Phil Baker on bass, Ron Steen on drums, and the amazing Dan Faehnle on guitar.
Second up is “Someday He’ll Break Your Heart (the Way He Broke Mine),” which can be heard in the movie “Looper” that opened September 28, 2012. (It’s in the background of the diner scene between Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.) This country song was inspired by the life experiences of one of Ellen’s dear friends, who also served as the inspiration for the song that follows. Rebecca is accompanied by James Mason on fiddle, Harley James on pedal steel guitar, John Standefer on guitar, and Dick Titterington on upright bass.
Next up are two songs from a recording session with Courtney von Drehle on accordian and Eli Reisman on guitar. The upbeat “Fiona the Femme Fatale” is catchy and funny, while “Aprés L’Amour,” which follows, is a chanson triste sung entirely in French.
“Why Am I the Last to Know?” was inspired by the breakup of a favorite musical trio, and was written surreptiously during a tedious meeting about transportation access management. Ellen says, “I wanted to write a song that Patsy Cline could have sung, but Becky sings it better than I imagined it!” The musical accompaniment on this and the final tune are provided by the same great players as on "Someday He'll Break Your Heart (the Way He Broke Mine.)
The album closes with a Vanderslice favorite, “Twilight of Blue.,” previously recorded both by Ellen herself (on the CD The Standard Vanderslice) and by the evocative Johnny Martin (on the CD Once in a Blue Moon). In this previously-unreleased recording by Rebecca Kilgore, the sad and subtle colors of twilight come to life in song.