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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Harvey: "The exciting day arrived and we [as under age school boys] snuck into the [pub's] rehearsal room, sat awkwardly to attention on hard chairs in a row facing the band and heard our first - very loud - live jazz. What an occasion that was - we even drank beer because we understood that's what jazz people did and that's what the band were drinking." - (Just Jazz June 2020)

Dave Rempis:Ten years from now, I can see musicians streaming concerts in real time and charging a minimal amount for people to watch.” - (DownBeat September 2013)

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

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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