Personnel: Lyle Ritz (ukulele); Rebecca Kilgore (vocals).
Recording information: Falcon Recording Studios, Portland, OR.
Lyle Ritz recorded two albums on ukulele in the late 1950s before becoming a greatly in-demand studio bassist. He appeared on over 5,000 recording sessions during a 30-year period before returning to the ukulele. On I Wish You Love, Ritz plays his little ukulele with the power of a guitar and takes solos on all 13 standards. Rebecca Kilgore, who has emerged during the past 20 years as one of the top swing singers around, has a subtle and lightly swinging style that is influenced by Maxine Sullivan. She constantly displays a knack of singing perfect-placed notes, improvising while always keeping the melody close by, uplifting every piece that she performs. The team of Ritz and Kilgore works out perfectly, with the singer also playing rhythm guitar and the duo joined by the fluent bass of Dave Captein. While most of the songs are vintage standards (including the perfectly appropriate "I Love a Ukulele"), there are a few more "recent" numbers including "Charade," "Sway," and "I Wish You Love." Kilgore's delivery of the lyrics on "Give Me the Simple Life" and "I Cried for You" in particular are quite delightful. Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow