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Brigitte Beraha

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Reviews of Brigitte Beraha

 

20/04/2008 Kenny Wheeler

"..A Fine Composer."

 

01/04/2008 Rufus Reid

"Brigitte's voice and writing have truly matured to another soaring level"

 

05/08/2005 The Guardian

"...Divinely sung solos from Brigitte Beraha..."

 

01/04/2005 Tony Hall in Jazzwise 4 stars

This is the only vocal record I have ever written about in Jazzwise. But Milan-born Ms Beraha has made an album that really stands out of the crowd. Much credit must go to the musicians supporting her, whose sound has been captured beautifully by engineer Justin Underhill, with special mention for the sympathetic comping and swinging solos by Barry Green, whose playing is outstanding.I probably like Brigitte's voice so much because, spurred on by this outstanding rhythm section, she swings considerably more than her contemporaries. The liner notes make comparisons with Norma Winstone, Flora Purim and Annie Ross (Wardell Gray's 'Twisted' is included), but already there's plenty of evidence of an individual sound and style. There are some outstanding treatments of standards, which bring the even more hackneyed ones back to life. 'Prelude to a Kiss' (with just bass and Ingrid Laubrock's soulful, expressive tenor at its most evocative), 'I Loves You Porgy' (just with Green), Jobim's 'Retrato Em Branco', 'Over the Rainbow', an unusual reharmonised version of 'Love for Sale'... almost every track is excellent.And she can write, too, as witnessed by the strong opener, 'Got No Blues' and the Purim-esque samba, 'Sunlight On Your Face'. Kenny Wheeler, Cleo Laine and bassist Rufus Reid are already fans. Add me to the list.

 

01/04/2005 Musician

"A crisp and vibrant debut album from this jazz singer from East London, full of tasteful songs, fine playing and thoughtful arrangements.’’

 

11/03/2005 Alan Joyce in Nottingham Evening Post

**** =Very Good
Another entry into the current trend for jazz orientated female vocalists, but Brigitte Beraha's approach is particularly agreeable claiming to base her style on such as Flora Purim, Anita O'Day and Norma Winstone. Her Material here is a superb mix, which includes a couple of originals and well rehearsed and re-worked standards. She is aided by an excellent quartet, with German-born saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and pianist Barry Green making admirable contributions. On the opener, Got No Blues inspired blowing by Laubrock follows Brigitte's vocal. She sings in Portuguese on Jobim's Retrato em Branco e Preto and caresses the title track, Ellington's Prelude to a Kiss. Twisted, one of the CD's highlights, swings like mad with brigitte improvising magnificently over the superb bass of Phil Donkin

 

06/03/2005 Humphrey Lyttelton

"Her debut album is impressive, as one would expect from someone who’s well and truly paid her dues”

 

01/02/2005 Chris Parker in Jazz Review

If jazz singers are divided into those who privilege the song (Ella Fitzgerald, Stacey Kent), those who emote affectingly (Billy Holiday, Barb Jungr) and those who primarily emphasise the jazz elements of their craft (categories not, of course, mutually exclusive), Brigitte Beraha probably fits most readily into the third group. Her frequent recourse to scatting, her lively and spontaneous interaction with a sparky band, and her adventurous choices as regards routes through the melodies of standards such as “Over the Rainbow” and “I Didn't Know What Time it Was” all lead to this conclusion. Her responsiveness to piano (“Lucky to Be Me”), or bass (a version of Annie Ross's “Twisted” which, while showing off her chops, lacks the infectuous exuberance and sheer fun of Joni Mitchell's Court And Spark) and a stripped-down band (“Prelude to a Kiss”) is impressive. She also composes intelligently (“Got No Blues”, “Sunlight on Your Face”). As to whether or not she'll take her place with this debut beside the Norma Winstones and Claire Martins of this world, this depends on how many people can tear themselves away from the skilfully produced pop-jazz that currently dominates the genre's vocal market to give their attention to someone who concentrates on the music's core values: imagination, individuality, improvisation. The voice may not be the most flexible or dynamically varied instrument on the contemporary scene, but it's undeniably powerful and enviably clear, and this CD should certainly whet appetites for Beraha's live appearances.

 

01/02/2005 Stephen Latessa in Jazzreview.com

“Got No Blues,” the striking first track on vocalist Brigitte Beraha’s debut album Prelude to a Kiss conjures a shifting and shadowy noir world of lovers who discover they may be happier lying to each other than opening their eyes to the truth. Her band, prodded by sympathetic support from pianist Barry Green, surveys an ambiguous, misty landscape. Penned by Beraha, the tune is unsettling and seductive.
Aside from another original composition, “Sunlight on Your Face,” the rest of Prelude to a Kiss is comprised mostly of standards and charts safer territory. After the ethereality of the opener, Beraha’s arrangement of “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” barrels ahead with headlong momentum, adding witty emphasis to Lorenz Hart’s ode to the disorientation of love. Elsewhere, Beraha’s light and lovely take on “Retrato Em Branco E Preto” escorts the listener on a leisurely stroll by the Brazilian coast.
Prelude to a Kiss is a promising debut from the London-based Beraha. Possessed of a fine voice, her compositions are an additional asset. It would be interesting to see what avenues her own writing might take her down on future efforts.

 

08/01/2005 Ron Burnett: Jazz Notes, Evening Press, York

The first new CD of 2005 to drop onto the Jazz Notes desk is the debut album by vocalist Brigitte Beraha, Prelude To A Kiss (FMR Records). As well as writing a couple of her own originals, Brigitte has arranged refreshing new takes on jazz standards such as the album title track and Love For Sale. Applause too, for her choice of a lesser-heard Jobim song, Retrato Em Branco E Preto, and Lucky To Be Me, a gem by Bernstein, Comden and Green.
Ms Beraha gives generous solo space to other members of her virtuoso band, with Ingrid Laubrock, usually heard on alto saxophone with Monica Vasconcelos, particularly appealing on tenor.
Not all singers are successful when venturing into the land of Ooblie (scat singing), but Brigitte employs it well with semi-improvised words on her own Got No Blues. Although there is perhaps too much on Annie Ross's Twisted, she essays just enough on the Beurke/Van Heusen tune, It Could Happen To You. All in all a four star album, highly recommended.
Brigitte was born in Milan, but is now London-based and gives jazz improvisation workshops at Goldsmiths College, London.

 

24/06/2004 Dame Cleo Laine & John Dankworth CBE

"If sheer talent were the only ingredient needed for success in music, Brigitte would already be up there with the stars. She has a tremendous future to explore, one which we’ll be watching with great expectations”.

 

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