I’ve long loved Rebecca Kilgore. She sang with Dave Frishberg in the 90s. As for Christmas music, she was featured on two Tall Jazz Christmas albums (1993 and 1997), with Tom Grant on 2007’s “Winter Warm” and, in 2010, provided some vocals on John Sheridan’s “Hooray For Christmas”. That’s all very nice and all, but I really wanted more. So when I saw this coming release from Rebecca Kilgore and Echoes of Swing on the schedule, I was over the moon. Even more so after hearing the lead single “Snowbound” (a Dave Frishberg tune Rebecca has recorded before…but this version swings), I can hardly wait for the rest, which releases October 25.
I’ve not heard Echoes of Swing before, but they sound superb. This is classic Jazz. Think Ellington or Getz. Rebecca turned 70 just over a week ago, but you wouldn’t know it to hear that voice–sweet and warm and with impeccable feel and timing. If anything, Rebecca sounds better than ever (I know people say that a lot, but, in this case, it’s really true). And the playlist looks like something special, too. The songs are winter-themed–not a single song with Christmas in the title. So “Winter Days At Schloss Elmau” is the kind of album that can keep you warm all winter long. But the familiar songs are ones that will immediately evoke Christmas…“Winter Wonderland”, “The Bell That Couldn’t Jingle”, and “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm”. Well, that about does it for the well worn seasonals. The rest of the bulbs on this string of brightly colored lights is as fresh as the new fallen snow (sorry if I’m mixing my metaphors). Winter poems by the likes of Robert Frost, Emily Bronte and William Shakespeare put to music. An Antonio Carlos Jobim tune (“Looks Like December”). And originals written by Rebecca Kilgore and Echoes of Swing.
“Winter Days At Schloss Elmau” promises to be a true Christmas present…nay…a pile of Christmas presents. Right now, Amazon only shows the digital version, but there is a CD, though a German import. If you can’t wait for Amazon to make the add, it looks as though you can order it direct from Echoes of Swing or the ACT label. Links and track list below.
1. Winter Moon
2. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
3. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
4. The Bell That Couldn’t Jingle
6. Winter Wonderland
8. Looks Like December
9. It’s Getting To Be That Time Of Year
10. Sonnet 97
11. Winter Days
12. The Night Is Darkening Round Me
13. The Three Wise Men