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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie McLean: “I can't understand British audiences. In Britain there doesn't seem to be any curiosity." (Melody Maker, April 1, 1961).

Charles Mingus: "It seems to me that if our records were not issued in Britain, the British cats would have to think for themselves" (Jazz News, July 26th 1961)

Archives.

Today Monday July 24

Afternoon.
Jazz in the Afternoon - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Emma Fisk & James Birkett @ The Jazz Café - July 8.

Emma Fisk (vln); James Birkett (gtr).
(Review by Lance).
A violin/guitar duo in The Caff on a Friday night had me wondering if they'd be able to compete with the Friday night ravers - a body not noted for taking vows of silence. However, this was a tribute to the timeless music of Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang who, I'm sure, had noisier audiences to deal with back in the days of prohibition in the speakeasies of Chicago and New York.
As it happened, until The Caff's bathtub gin kicked in, the audience were respectful and only made with the decibels when it mattered i.e. loud and prolonged applause at the end of each number.
Make no mistake, this was a gig that mattered. Truly outstanding performances by two top draw instrumentalists totally au fait with the music they were recreating. 
Emma Fisk swings like few violinists do whilst Jim Birkett (I can't get used to calling him James) can cover just about any style from Lang to Metheny via Django and Christian. Together, it was a musical marriage made in Pink Lane.
The repertoire was the familiar, the not so familiar and occasionally the unknown.
The opener, Pardon me Pretty Baby, set the benchmark which was pretty high and, as the evening progressed, just got higher and higher!
Cheese and Crackers; Summertime; I Can't Give You Anything But Love; I Found a New Baby; Hiawatha's Lullaby; Sunday; Dinah; Georgia on my Mind and Raggin' the Scale.
Halftime and France v Portugal will have to score ten goals each to match this!
My Honey's Lovin' Arms; I'm Confessin' Blue Bottom; Someone to Watch Over me; It Had to be You; Kickin' the Cat; It's Only a Paper Moon; Sunshine and Autumn Leaves brought my evening to a close - Metro beckoned. I say 'brought my evening to a close' but it didn't. The songs, the fiddling, the guitar chords were in my head and I was oblivious to the Friday night mayhem around me. I now know what it's like to live in a parallel universe!
Photos.
Lance.

1 comment :

  1. After this inspiring session I dug out my old Venuti CDs (I've got a couple of 78s too but that would really have been gravedigging!) My thoughts; Firstly, Venuti and Lang were jazz innovators who gave identity to instruments that were still outside of the jazz parameters that history relegated them to and secondly, Fisk and Birkett have carried that flame into the present century without the help of bass sax and piano! I think my Venuti disc is probably deleted which suggests the time is ripe for a Fisk/Birkett Blue Two disc!

    ReplyDelete

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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