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Barry Green, the below-the-radar but formidably skilled London pianist, takes off on cutting-edge New York collaborations. His 2015 trio with American drummer Gerald Cleaver and saxophonist Chris Cheek proved that, and this New York-recorded set with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Tom Rainey is just as surefootedly inventive.

★ ★ ★ ★

This absorbing piano trio album grips from its opening scatter of discords to the funky-out that closes a reimagining of Monk’s Work.

★ ★ ★ ★

The title’s all wrong. Barry Green has arrived already. The writing’ crisp, sharp and adventurous, and his playing has real authority. Notice that the recording was made nearly three yeas ago. He must be positively scary now.

I don’t get to see him play much, but on the three occasions I have, the time zipped by. The album title makes sense in the context of the first track, which is one of those tunes that seems to go all over the place before settling to a groove that isn’t quite as unambiguous as it initially sounds.

★ ★ ★ ★

The pianist Barry Green has self-produced a handful of enterprising recordings for his Moletone label that are testament of a song melody-driven contemporary post-bop manifesto.

Made up of pop song covers, jazz standards and originals, his version of You’ll Never Walk Alone cold melt the hearts of the most hardcore Manchester United FC supporters. Fats Waller’s Lulu’s Back In Town is a crunching post-bop toe-tapper and there are nicely handled salutes to piano heroes, Monk (Work) and Powell (Bouncing With Bud.

****

 The four members of Babelfish are adept at springing surprises from diverse directions, but they've become a close-knit chamber group without losing any personal quirks. Their eponymously titled debut album united the word-class rhythm section of bassist Chris Laurence and drummer Paul Clarvis, imaginative pianist Barry Green, and the subtle vocals and cool accuracy of Brigitte Beraha. Their repertoire took in modern poetry, contemporary classical music, standard songs, freebop and Latin music. Live, they sound as if their collective reflexes are even sharper now than when that fine album was made.

Review by John Fordham

****

Possessed of Norma Winstone-like subtlety and precision the Italian singer-songwriter Brigitte Beraha could hardly be in better company than with Babelfish - the A-list instrumental team of pianist Barry Green, bassist Chris Laurence and drummer Paul Clarvis. It's a joint venture between Beraha and Green, who share an enthusiasm for unusual sources: the poetry of ee cummings, the prose of Raymond Carver and Benjamin Britten's arrangement of Steam In The Valley sit alongside Jobim and a collection of affecting originals.

 Review by John Fordham

A quartet with a singer of Brigitte Beraha's skills, a rhythm section featuring two of the UK's most skilful and experienced practitioners in bassist Chris Laurence and drummer Paul Clarvis, plus the gifted post-bop pianist Barry Green, is a pretty unmissable combination. But Babelfish, the group that grew this year from the 12-year working partnership of Beraha and Green, cover a very unusual range of material.

by Dave Gelly, The Observer, 3rd April 2011

No, they're not related, although pianist Barry and bassist Dave Green play together as though they were. You really need to be sitting down quietly to savour this set of eleven delicate improvisations on under-the-radar songs. Five of them including the title piece, which is recorded here for the first time, are by the late Alec Wilder, the archetypal composer's composer. This kind of chamber jazz depends for its effect on sketching in elusive harmonies and keeping you hanging on as they unfold. It also keeps your ears busy while the rest of you relaxes.