A quietly exhaled, appreciative ‘oh yeah’ from Bobby Wellins summed up all of our responses to this trio, just starting a short tour playing the repertoire from their recent album. The sigh came as Brigitte Beraha’s interpretation of My Funny Valentine added a new twist to a familiar standard, stretching the lyric out and gliding over John Turville’s rolling arpeggios from the piano. The lush, fluent accompaniments gave a classical air to a few standards throughout the evening. This is a class act and there was plenty of range and variety within and between songs. The chosen standards almost defined the term: They can’t take that away from me, But not for me,My Funny Valentine of course and a good sprinkling of Jobim. In contrast there were unusual tunes: A Paul Simon song ‘Night Game’, Beatriz by Chico Barques (you’d have to be a close follower of Brazilian music to know that one) and the odd Beraha original. This was a very intimate performance with Bobby Wellins’ tenor twisting around Beraha’s vocal lines as much as providing solos. The trio format gave them plenty of freedom to develop that interaction without ever distracting from the focus on the song. A delightful and uplifting evening.
Red Skies, Wiltshire Music Centre, Friday 2nd February