VIPERS and MOCKINGBIRDS, LYRICISM and SWING: EMMA FISK and FRIENDS RECALL EDDIE SOUTH and STUFF SMITH at the WHITLEY BAY CLASSIC JAZZ PARTY (Nov. 3, 2013)

The very expressive swinging violinist Emma Fisk was given a difficult assignment — to summon up the ghosts of Stuff Smith (violently, dramatically hot) and Eddie South (elegance personified) in thirty minutes at the 2013 Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party.  I’d give her and her colleagues very high marks at this nearly-impossible task.

The colleagues are Jeff Barnhart, piano and vocal (hear him romp on the verse to LADY BE GOOD — a feat that astonishes the band — as well as on a block-chord solo on SKIP IT), the ceaselessly rocking Richard Pite, drums; the energized Henri Lemaire, string bass; the versatile Spats Langham (called upon to be Django for seven choruses of uplifting accompaniment on EDDIE’S BLUES), and two guest stars to take us close to the Onyx Club Boys of fabled memory, Ben Cummings, trumpet (hidden behind someone’s coif, but he comes through clear as a bell); Jean-Francois Bonnel, clarinet.

Here they are — recorded on November 3, 2013, nimbly being themselves while honoring departed masters.

IF YOU’RE A VIPER (thank you, Jeff!):

MAMA MOCKINGBIRD (for Hoagy and Eddie):

LADY BE GOOD:

EDDIE’S BLUES:

SKIP IT:

Well played, Emma, Jeff, Spats, Henri, Richard, Ben, and Jean-Francois!

And I know that Emma has a feature set at this year’s Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party called FIDDLESTICKS in honor of Signor Venuti, which I know will be fun.

May your happiness increase!

6 responses to “VIPERS and MOCKINGBIRDS, LYRICISM and SWING: EMMA FISK and FRIENDS RECALL EDDIE SOUTH and STUFF SMITH at the WHITLEY BAY CLASSIC JAZZ PARTY (Nov. 3, 2013)

  1. Dear Michael, Emma correctly introduces Stuff’s song as “You’se a Viper”. “If You’re a Viper” is the title claimed by Rosetta Howard in her slightly different version, such as ponderous tempo. “Mama Mockingbird”: Emma cannot find the lyric. It is possible this was instrumental ony. More research needed. Thanks

  2. “Mama Mockingbird” update: the catalogue of Hoagy compositions at http://www.hoagy.com/catalogue.htm#m confirms that there was no lyric

  3. Don "Zoot" Conner

    Wow,Michael,I’m running out of superlatives for all the groups you’ve exhibited.Emma is the terrific:Nice-looking, hip,a laid-back British accent,and a brilliant stylist on a difficult instrument.Keep ’em coming.

  4. At some point ‘you’se’ was substituted for the much more tentative ‘If You’re A’ , thereby proclaiming with more earnestness that ‘you gotta be high to have that swing’, a truism no scholars or any other toadying apologists have ever been able to seriously debunk.

  5. You’se [is] correct.

  6. Pingback: AN ORDER OF HOT CLUB FOR FOUR, PLEASE: EMMA FISK, SPATS LANGHAM, MARTIN WHEATLEY, HENRY LEMAIRE (Mike Durham Classic Jazz Party, Nov. 6, 2015) | JAZZ LIVES

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