Where or When by Kristin Berardi, review by Barry O’Sullivan
Kristin Berardi is one of Australia’s ‘first call’ jazz vocalists.Having won a swag of awards including Montreux Jazz Festival’s International Vocal Competition and twice winner of The Australian Jazz Bell Award for Best Vocal Album she is also the recipient of a National Freedman Fellowship as well as the National Jazz Award for Voice at The Wangaratta Jazz Festival.
A graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium,where she now lectures, she has toured internationally to Japan,Germany,New York and Indonesia and is probably one of the best jazz singers that Australia has produced.
Where or When is a collection of songs that showcases Berardi’s astonishing talents delighting the listener with her warm and beautiful tone.Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne from the 1960’s is a brilliant simplistic rendition of that frequently covered song. It sits comfortably alongside of Rodgers and Harts’ Where or When superbly complementing Johnny Richards soulful million selling hit from 1953 Young at Heart. Could this be the version to finally rival that of Frank Sinatra’s?
One of Berardi’s original compositions on the album Lucky 13 is a tribute to the good fortune behind this album’s creation when she was able to gather all her chosen musicians in one studio in Melbourne on 13th September 2013 and another original composition, Is It OK For Clowns To Cry , shows the jazz ballad at its most touching and poignant.
The intimacy of the band is heightened by the decision to record without drums anchoring the album’s sound with the richness of Sam Anning’s faultless bass playing.
James Sherlock is as impressive as always on guitar and Steve Newcomb is flawlessly superb on piano.Julien Wilson adds that final magic touch with his tenor saxophone that makes this the perfect jazz vocal album of 2015.
Kristin Berardi -vocals and composition Steve Newcomb – piano
James Sherlock – guitar
Julien Wilson – tenor saxophone Sam Anning – bass