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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Emma Fisk & James Birkett Play Venuti & Lang @ Sage Gateshead - June 20.

Emma Fisk (violin); James Birkett (guitar).
(Review by Lance).
A duo set by Birkett and Fisk celebrating the music of Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang followed by a Hot Club set by les tout ensemble better known as Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord.
Just as Venuti and Lang found a musical rapport in the 1920s, Birkett and Fisk have done likewise some 80/90 years later. Last night's performance showed just how timeless good jazz of any vintage is.
James and Emma may not be the trailblazers that Joe and Eddie were but it required their virtuoso talents to present it in an acceptable way to a present-day audience and the audience present yesterday showed their appreciation with prolonged applause at the end of the set.
Most of the tunes were on their recent CD - Birkett & Fisk play Venuti & Lang - which also just happened to be among my January CD of the Month choices. What I wrote then equally applies to this live session and I was pleased to see the albums turning over rapidly, and deservedly, at the CD sales desk outside of Sage Two.
For the record (no pun intended) this first set comprised: Sunday; Cheese & Crackers; Sunshine; Eddie's Lament; Kickin' The Cat; A Little Love, A Little Kiss; Pardon Me Pretty Baby & Raggin' The Scale, these were all from the CD. Sweet Georgia Brown and A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square weren't on the album but only because they weren't part of the Venuti & Lang repertoire. They are, however, very much a part of the Birkett & Fisk songbook. Emma told us how well Nightingale had gone down during their recent tour, of which this concert was the final one, and hearing it I could understand why the listeners loved it. For me, that middle eight where the song opens up with a flourishing major scale - The moon that lingered over London Town - is what lifts the song above the rest and equals anything from the GASbook. Needless to say, tonight's two performers did it justice.
Lance.

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