She sang one of her favourites, Billie Holiday’s God Bless the Child, followed by the less-familiar Gershwin tune They Can’t Take That Away from Me.
“My beautiful mum was in the third row of the audience mouthing along the lyrics trying to help me remember the song, it was hilarious,” says Pask.
“I thought that was my big moment of singing with James, then the next week his manager calls and said we’ve got a gig here with James, we’d like you to join the band. And that was it. We spent 25 years together.”
Pask had suddenly found a jazz mentor and it was the start of a vocal career now in its third decade.
Morrison and Pask are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their musical union with a concert featuring songs from Duke Ellington, Cole Porter and, of course, Gershwin.
“It’s taking me back to my roots of where it began,” says Pask. “It’s come full circle. We’re doing a big band with James and I out the front. Both James and I have a huge passion for that era of the mid-’30s to the mid-’40s. We’re just going to be having a swinging, great time.”
James Morrison and Emma Pask, 3pm, State Theatre, 49 Market Street, city, $60-$111, ticketmaster.com.au