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Red Skies

Artist: Brigitte Beraha

Date of Release: 18/02/2013

Catalogue no: 2168

Label: E17Jazz

Price: £10

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

Dindi

5.31

2

 

My One and Only Love

2.45

3

 

Les Feuilles Mortes

6.19

4

 

Beatriz

5.36

5

 

This Heart of Mine

5.59

6

 

Elephants on Wheels

4.10

7

 

Desafinado

4.17

8

 

It Might As Well Be Spring

5.50

9

 

Night Gane

3.09

10

 

Moon & Sand

4.51

11

 

They Can't Take That Away From Me

2.19

12

 

A Time For Love

5.12

 

 

 

 

Brigitte Beraha & John Turville, special guest Bobby Wellins: Red Skies. Brigitte Beraha and John Turville have both been receiving growing recognition as musicians and bandleaders in their own right, and this collaboration was a natural result of a long friendship and a deep musical understanding that comes across immediately on this new album. Featuring the legendary saxophonist Bobby Wellins their new album“Red Skies” draws on an eclectic range of music, from well-known standards and latin gems through to originals and contemporary songs.

 

Reviews

 

20/02/2013 Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz

On the sleeve and the CD it's "Brigitte Beraha and John Turville"; on the press release and the electronic data it's "John Turville and Brigitte Beraha." This inconsistent approach to credits has no impact on the quality of the music on Red Skies, of course, but it is perhaps indicative of the ego-free zone inhabited by pianist Turville and singer Beraha, as they bring a fresh and uncluttered approach to some favorite standards.

Beraha and Turville are members of London's E17 Collective. They've won plaudits for their work with players such as trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and saxophonist Gilad Atzmon, as well as for their own albums—Turville's Midas (F-IRE, 2010) gained the Best Album award in the 2011 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Red Skies, recorded in Italy's Artesuono Studios, represents something of a departure for both of them, with its emphasis on classic Great American Songbook tunes, but this new direction works like a dream.

Beraha's voice has a fragile quality, enhanced by her tendency to sing predominantly in the middle and upper reaches of her range. This fragility strengthens her emotional connection to the songs which are for the most part rather downbeat in their approach to love and romance. She scats and adds wordless vocals to many of the songs but it's her ability to interpret lyrics that gives her performance its real strength—an ability that seems unaffected by her language of choice as she sings in French ("Les Feuilles Mort") and Portuguese ("Beatriz") as well as English.

Turville is an excellent foil for Beraha's voice. As an accompanist he balances Beraha's delicate vocals by giving his playing a contrasting toughness; as a soloist he has an ability to retain the mood of the lyrics and to interpret this mood on the keyboard. He's full-on for Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Desafinado," driving the tempo as Beraha sings with obvious joy; on "My One And Only Love," his playing is more spacious, complementing Beraha's considered yet sensual reading of the lyric. For "Les Feuilles Mortes" (aka "Autumn Leaves," when sung in English) he retains this spacious approach but adds a swing feel that lightens the song's mood. Beraha takes "It Might As Well Be Spring" slowly, lingering over each word as Turville matches the flow of her words and plays a short solo of great charm.

The album takes its title from Beraha's own "Elephants On Wheels," whose melancholy story refers to a "red sky." It's a sign of Beraha's strength as a songwriter that the song sits well alongside the classics.

Bobby Wellins' warm, mellifluous, tenor can make Stan Getz sound like John Zorn. He plays on two songs, "Dindi" and "A Time For Love." Both performances are beautifully-judged, characteristically economical and romantic. Additional contributions from Wellins would have been welcome, but there's such an embarrassment of riches in the interplay between Beraha and Turville that asking for more seems rather selfish. Red Skies is filled with subtle pleasures and understated delights.

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=43929#.USpXR46i-ao

 

02/02/2013 Mike Collins, Jazzyblogman

A quietly exhaled, appreciative ‘oh yeah’ from Bobby Wellins summed up all of our responses to this trio, just starting a short tour playing the repertoire from their recent album. The sigh came as Brigitte Beraha’s interpretation of My Funny Valentine added a new twist to a familiar standard, stretching the lyric out and gliding over John Turville’s rolling arpeggios from the piano. The lush, fluent accompaniments gave a classical air to a few standards throughout the evening. This is a class act and there was plenty of range and variety within and between songs. The chosen standards almost defined the term: They can’t take that away from me, But not for me,My Funny Valentine of course and a good sprinkling of Jobim. In contrast there were unusual tunes: A Paul Simon song ‘Night Game’, Beatriz by Chico Barques (you’d have to be a close follower of Brazilian music to know that one) and the odd Beraha original. This was a very intimate performance with Bobby Wellins’ tenor twisting around Beraha’s vocal lines as much as providing solos. The trio format gave them plenty of freedom to develop that interaction without ever distracting from the focus on the song. A delightful and uplifting evening.

http://jazzyblogman.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/red-skies-wiltshire-music-centre-friday-2nd-february/

 

30/01/2013 Alison Bentley, LondonJazz

Singer Brigitte Beraha and pianist John Turville are known for writing their own imaginative music. On this CD, they bring their jazz and classical influences to others’ songs, both well-known and rare, and Bobby Wellins plays lusciously on the first and last tracks. Turville and Beraha are based in London; Beraha was born in Italy and grew up in French-speaking Monaco, and there's a European feel to the album, beautifully recorded in the Italian Artesuono studios.

The album opens dreamily with Dindi (LISTEN HERE), one of several bossa novas. There's a fine musical rapport. Beraha drifts across the beat, the sound of the breath becoming a part of the voice. As she moves the phrases around, Turville follows her, while keeping the pulse strong and anchoring the timing. Desafinado is upbeat, and in Turville's solo the notes tumble over each other in Monkish glee. Beraha creates a kind of playful rhythmic tension against the piano, improvising with a light percussive touch. Moon and Sand summons the melancholy of Chet Baker's version. Turville's solo is romantic and sweeping, with strong bossa grooves, making the piano sing, like John Taylor. Beraha sounds strong but never strident, changing volume suddenly on a note for emphasis, with emotive effect.

A high point is Chico Buarque's Beatriz. Milton Nascimento was once regarded as the only singer with the vocal range to negotiate its wide intervals. Beraha sings them beautifully in Portuguese, exploring the lower part of her range before ascending the rungs of the tune, like the trapeze artist portrayed. There's an unmistakable frisson as Turville echoes the melody between the vocal lines. They Can't Take That Away From Me and This Heart of Mine are swung and sung with fun. Turville's walking bass lines and Tristano-like counterpointed motifs show how versatile this award-winning pianist is. Beraha's exuberant boppy scat phrases have some of the contours and vocal tone of Anita Wardell’s improvising. Autumn Leaves was originally composed for Jacques Prévert's French poem Les Feuilles Mortes, which Brigitte sings here: as the lovers part silently ('sans faire de bruit') her voice fades with pathos. As the song starts to swing, you're reminded by her clear, delicate tones of Tina May's 'Jazz Piquant'- and Turville can sound like Nikki Iles.

It Might as Well Be Spring, played as a ballad, starts with Norma Winstone-like wordless vocal plummeting. The slight break as the voice slides up creates a folk-like quality, a childlike innocence. As she sings low, the piano takes the upper register in expressive contrast. Brigitte Beraha can sing warmly and at other times with a cool Nordic poise, evoking Sidsel Endresson's work with Django Bates. She turns Paul Simon's Night Game from a song about baseball into something Northern and mystical; phrases like 'colder than the moon' , 'upon the winter frost' are heightened, the breath blurring the outline of the voice like snow on a branch. My One and Only Love is a heartfelt ballad, the piano arpeggios sensitively billowing between the vocal lines. In Beraha's Elephant on Wheels (the only original) she sings long subtle tones behind the piano solo, combining Evans-style Romanticism with darker minor modes.

The slow A Time For Love again shows Bill Evans' influence, but Turville uses sparser broken chords to outline the harmony. Bobby Wellins solos here and on Dindi: his solos are gorgeously breathy with a core of toughness. As the sax folds in with the high ethereal voice and flowing piano, it's very beautiful. Their sincerity and humour combine with superb musicianship to create a very special atmosphere. To quote Ruskin, describing it feels like like 'counting clouds'.

http://www.londonjazznews.com/2013/01/cd-review-brigitte-beraha-john-turville.html

 

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