CD Review: Deirdre Cartwright/Kathy Dyson Emily Remembered

Deirdre Cartwright/Kathy Dyson Emily Remembered
(Blow the Fuse BTF0811CD, CD Review by Chris Parker)

Guitarists Deirdre Cartwright and Kathy Dyson were both crucially inspired by the musicianship and career of Emily Remler, and so this project, ‘Emily Remembered’, is not only a labour of love, but also imbued with the admiration and respect each felt for the late American jazz star.

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Cartwright and Dyson have been performing as a duo under this rubric for three or four years now, and their live performances (one of which, at the Vortex, provides some of the material on this album) usually begin with the opener here: the Hammerstein/Romberg classic ‘Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise’, in its Remler arrangement, but played in C minor so that Cartwright can highlight the poignant beauty of the melody with chiming harmonics. Another standard, ‘All the Things You Are’, follows, but the remainder of the album is mostly original (blues, improvisations, a Pablo Neruda poem set to music by Dyson and sung by Sarah P, the touching ‘Sonnet for Emily’ woven into a Remler arrangement of ‘Afro Blue’ etc.)

Dyson and Cartwright, like their role model, are both unshowy but sure-footed and musicianly players, and their interplay (particularly striking on the album’s closer, ‘Whirligig’) is a delight throughout a varied and consistently entertaining set, but the highlight of the proceedings (appropriately enough, since it was also a great Remler live feature) is the wafting but cogent Jobim classic ‘How Insensitive’, which neatly encapsulates the duo’s strengths. A fitting tribute to an important jazz figure, who is also memorialised at All Things Emily

Deirdre Cartwright’s next London appearance is as part of the Electric Landladies at Spitalfields Market, Saturday 12th March (free), with Laka Daisical, Sarah Pritchard, Diane McLoughlin, Alison Rayner and Ann Day.

Deirdre writes: “How cool is that? Well hopefully not too – we’re playing in the ACTUAL market which means it’s a FREE(zing) gig. No just joking! We’re really looking forward to this and it is free. I’m sure the weather will be warm and sunny so perfect for a Spring jig a bout! Set times are approximately 12 – 1 and 2 – 3pm. All are very welcome.

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