Brigitte Beraha, Barry Green, Chris Laurence, Paul Clarvis
Babelfish is led by Brigitte Beraha (vocals) and Barry Green (piano), joined by the wonderful Chris Laurence on bass and Paul Clarvis on percussion. Beraha and Green clearly have a close musical rapport; his fluent, robust piano complementing her strong but affecting voice perfectly as they play a mix of originals and music inspired by classical and literary works, from Britten through E.E. Cummings to Raymond Carver.
“A great musician, Brigitte Beraha uses her voice like an instrument in the tradition of people like Flora Purim, Tania Maria and the recently aknowledged bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding” – Julian Joseph, Jazz Line Up, BBC Radio
Two reviews of their latest album:
‘Babelfish, the talented London lineup of singer Brigitte Beraha, pianist Barry Green, bassist Chris Laurence and drummer Paul Clarvis, followtheir impressive 2012 debut album with an even more wide-ranging session, in which originals rub shoulders with works by Caetano Veloso, Aaron Copland, Benjamin Britten and more. There’s an unfussy lightness from the off: Veloso’s Michelangelo Antonioni, sung in Portuguese, is reverberatingly rhapsodic, and Steve Lacy’s Your Turn to Ask is a cool swinger with sparing, Monkish chord-clangs. Green’s wide piano vocabulary, Laurence’s expressiveness with the bow, Clarvis’s dancing brushwork and Beraha’s abstracted vocals form four short solo interludes in the tracklist; and Beraha’s sublimely gliding merger of Copland’s Heart, We Will Forget Him into a wryly shrugging account of the standard song I’m Always Chasing Rainbows is a testament to her sensitivity and vocal class.’
‘Named after Douglas Adams’s fictional translating fish, this remarkable quartet has evolved its own musical language. Jazz and classical techniques are interwoven, not to mention a slight touch of folk. Unfamiliar at first, but gently seductive, it keeps you listening through the sheer power of invention, which isn’t surprising when you consider the eminence of those involved: pianist Barry Green, bassist Chris Laurence, percussionist Paul Clarvis and the quietly luminous voice of Brigitte Beraha. Co-composer, with Green, of most of these 16 pieces, Beraha employs both lyrics and a kind of ethereal scat-singing to quite hypnotic effect.’