It’s quite uncommon to have two women jazz guitarists take the stage together but the audience at this summer’s Manchester Jazz Festival got a rare treat of not only great jazz from the female duo of Deirdre Cartwright and Kathy Dyson but in particular of jazz in honor of the late and wonderful guitarist, Emily Remler. Both Cartwright and Dyson have very extensive backgrounds as advocates, educators and performers and have brought their wealth of experience and love of Emily’s music together in hope of inspiring a new generation of girls to the beauty of jazz guitar as well as new listeners to the music that either Remler composed or played often from her favorite influences.

ATE overseas correspondent Simon Crook was lucky enough to find the best table
in the house to take in the show and has this review to share:

On one of the warmest evenings of the year so far, Kathy Dyson And Deirdre Cartwright opened their set with an elegant take on Wes Montgomery’s Four On Six in front of a good-natured and attentive audience. Following on with Emily’s arrangement of Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise, their soulful playing on this tune was a particular highlight, showcasing Deirdre’s lyrical lines as she skillfully dug into the harmony, choosing only the most meaningful intervals to define Kathy’s solid accompaniment. A well received version of Horace Silver’s perky Sister Sadie was up next. Deirdre spoke about how much Emily had influenced them both and deserved to be remembered and the amazing fact that, as far as they know, they are still the only professional women jazz guitarists in the UK. Jobim’s haunting and beautiful How Insensitive gave them both a chance to stretch out and trade solos. A confident version of Emily’s own composition, Blues For Herb followed, and the mood remained upbeat with Joy Spring, a tune that Emily had arranged and regularly played live, years before recording it with Larry Coryell. Deirdre and Kathy ended the set with the standard, All The Things You Are. Although it would have been good to hear a couple more of Emily’s own compositions it was impossible not to be charmed and thoroughly entertained by their great playing and infectious enthusiasm for the music.

Bruce Robinson caught the show and adds:

This was a great gig. Two distinctly different sounding guitarists influenced by Emily giving their take on her music using the original settings. They both were really enjoying themselves and communicated it to the audience. There are still a few wrinkles to be ironed out but I hope this music makes it to cd.