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Bebop Spoken There

Art Hirahara: "Playing with people is the most important thing to me, and not playing with people is torture." - (DownBeat August, 2020)

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11,772 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 912 of them this year alone and, so far, 49 this month (August 13).

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August

Thursday 20: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

CD Review: Babelfish - Once Upon a Tide

Brigitte Beraha (vocals); Barry Green (piano); Chris Laurence (double bass); Paul Clarvis (percussion).
(Review by Steve H)

‘Nature is death, nature is life, a glimpse of permanence quickly overshadowed by impermanence, the beauty of the sea’  lines sung be Beraha on The Sea the Sea sums up the ethos of this band perfectly. The album sets out to reflect how it’s creation is a journey which takes the music in unknown directions just as life itself takes risks and is full of surprises. This may all sound rather highfalutin – the best-laid plans of mice and men and all that, but this album is a joy from beginning to end keeping the listener both entertained and interested throughout. 
Most of the song titles are inspired by literary works The Sea the Sea is an Iris Murdoch novel for example. Apart from Dido’s Lament by Henry Purcell and Pretty Girl (Ellington/Strayhorn)  the rest of the album songs are composed by either Beraha or Green. Green’s song Casual Incompetence could well become my theme tune. 

Having seen this band live about a year ago (review here) I knew that I could expect fine musicianship and great collective playing and I was certainly not disappointed Beraha sings conventional lyrics and also improvises marvellously employing a complete range of different vocal sounds which adds further intrigue and surprise to proceedings. On the final number of the album  Vie et Maree a poem by Max Jacob she uses spoken French.  

The rhythm section is incomparable - delicate and subtle where necessary yet dynamic and fascinating when taking solos.  In fact whilst making notes during listening I seemed to jot down after every track- rhythm section outstand great piano/bass/drum solo. The waves have certainly washed this delightful album ashore.
Steve H
Album launch is at Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG on June 29. Details.

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