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.
From the poetry of ee cummings to the work of Raymond Carver, Antonio Carlos Joblim and Kenny Wheeler. Beraha exhibits a Norma Winstone-like fluency and range, and share Winstone's ability to maximise the impact of complex melodies at very low volumes.
Green is a harmonically sophisticated performer who creatively strays in and out of a harmony without disrupting the flow, and Clarvis and Laurence are a delight to witness. Babelfish are a definition of a contemporary jazz class act.