Rebecca Kilgore: Some Like It Hot
This appealing tribute to the vocal work of Marilyn Monroe at Feinstein's at Loews Regency also showcases the work a superb jazz quartet.
Kilgore's voice is, not surprisingly, better than that. It shares a little bit of the lightness of Monroe's, but is far less breathy and ultimately richer. While Kilgore has a relatively small range, she possesses both a sure sense of swing and the ability to get the heart of a lyric -- two traits that serve her (and the audience) well during her 60-minute set.
What comes through strongest, however, as Kilgore explores Monroe's small oeuvre of recorded work (mostly from her films) -- presented here in chronological order with just a little bit of biographical information -- is the remarkable quality of the songs she was given to present in her career.
The score of Gentleman Prefer Blondes, one should pardon the pun, is a gem: "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," "When Love Goes Wrong, "Bye Bye Baby," and "Little Girl from Little Rock" are each winners; Irving Berlin's "After You Get What You Want" (from There's No Business Like Show Business) is simply delicious; the 1931 standard "I'm Through With Love" (featured in Some Like it Hot) is still unbelievably sad; and Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn's "Incurably Romantic" (from Let's Make Love) undeniably lives up to its title.