The Jazz Rag Album Reviews

Jazz London Radio has teamed up with the excellent The Jazz Rag magazine to provide two CD reviews each month from their esteemed Reviewers.

Since 1987, The Jazz Rag magazine has been at the heart of the British jazz scene, published bi-monthly and containing news, reviews and features on both the rich history of jazz from across the globe, and exciting new album releases, tours and festivals. You can read the full magazine online and order paper copies at www.bigbearmusic.com/jazzrag and can also follow their Facebook page for updates on interesting jazz news and articles from their archive.

October Reviews

BRIGITTE BERAHA

LUCID DREAMS 

Let Me Out LMOCD001 40:21

Brigitte Beraha’s new album is her first as leader in more than a decade. A resumé boasting performances with an array of familiar names as disparate as Alan Barnes, Tim Garland, Kim Macari and Kenny Wheeler makes it difficult to pigeonhole the Italian-born British vocalist.

Lucid Dreams was recorded in January with gigs to follow only to be derailed by the pandemic lockdown. Five tracks (four of them Beraha’s compositions) feature George Crowley’s tenor saxophone, clarinet and electronics, Alcyona Mick’s piano and drummer Tim Giles with additional percussion and electronics. Beraha’s instrumentation is listed as ‘voice, electronics, singing bowl’. The common denominator is electronics and ‘voice’ rather than ‘vocals’ will come as no surprise to the reader familiar with Beraha’s work.

This Let Me Out Records album bears the catalogue number CD001 which is a clear indication that Beraha considers Lucid Dreams to be a cherished project and the label is a vehicle to get the music out there.

Comparison with Norma Winstone is unavoidable and Beraha has expressed admiration for the doyen of contemporary British jazz singing. The album’s five tracks, the first of which is The Meaning of the Blues (Bobby Troup, composer/Leah Worth, lyrics), don’t attempt to impress with a display of pyrotechnics, although each member of the quartet is more than capable of frightening the horses, rather, this recording of a shade over forty minutes’ duration is an exercise in controlled dynamics enveloped in an ethereal mist.

RUSSELL CORBETT