COMPOSERS: Brigitte Beraha
PERFORMER: Brigitte Beraha (vocals), Joe Auckland (trumpet), Ivo Neame (piano), Phil Donkin (bass), George Hart (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: CD24
In recent years, albums by highly touted, so-called jazz singers have come along as frequently as ‘reality’ shows, and have often been just as dispiriting. Here’s one offering more reason for optimism.
Brigitte Beraha and the excellent Joe Auckland sound very much like new-generation versions of Norma Winstone and Kenny Wheeler.
This means that the music is beautifully crafted and almost painfully honest and sensitive, but has a tendency to be more than a tad too earnest and dry. I’d hazard a guess that this band has some Azimuth albums on its collective shelf.
Beraha wrote all the lyrics (though some of the vocalising is lyric-less) and most of the tunes. Ivo Neame and George Hart chipped in some good numbers, too. Neame’s, especially, make you want to hear where he will go next.
This session delivers much and promises more, but it’s probably not for you if you’re a member of the beard and beer-belly school of jazz-fan. Barry Witherden