(Pizza Express Jazz Club, 15th July. Review by Rosalie Genay)
Last Sunday was the long awaited album launch of Babelfish, a collaboration between Brigitte Beraha and Barry Green, recorded at Abbey Road with Paul Clarvis on percussion and Chris Laurence on bass.
They performed tracks from their new album as well as a moving tribute to Pete Saberton (to whom the album is dedicated) ‘Heart, We Will Forget’ by Copland segue-ing into ‘Chasing Rainbows’ in front of a welcoming audience at Pizza Express.
These gracious and wonderfully talented musicians delivered an exciting and unusual combination of music. Featured were new compositions, with highlights for me being the remarkable eccentric ‘Popular Mechanics’ by Green with text from Raymond Carver, the melancholy ‘The Apple Tree’ by Beraha, and cherished tunes such as the beautifully executed ‘Falando de Amor’ by Jobim. And we can of course rely on Green and Beraha to dive into lesser explored territory with art songs from Britten, the haunting ‘Poem for F’ by Ned Rorem and a touching arrangement by Pete Bernstein of Alec Wilde’s ‘While We’re Young’.
This partnership is the sum of very special parts indeed. Brigitte Beraha‘s warm and interpretative vocals are deployed with sincerity and musicality. She has a wondrous and fearless ability to push the limits of vocal agility. Barry Green‘s inventive and sensitive style of playing for which he is well recognised, create patterns of rich harmonies and locked-in pulses from which he launches all kinds of unanticipated narratives.
The nothing but brilliant percussion by Paul Clarvis, the equally astounding Chris Laurence and the visible joy of this band working together on stage were transferred to the audience. The sensitivity toward the music and each other and the creation of space within the form made it into a unique evening, a moment when magical soundscapes would transport you out of our dreary London.
Album available at moletone.com