Kristin Berardi

Kristin BerardiAs delicate, nuanced and delectable a singer as Kristin Berardi is, it's her compositions that really astonish and, given due exposure, will, I believe, endure. Whether a virtual lullaby to her 7-month-old (who could be heard backstage), Oli, her 'angry chick' or 'lovey-dovey' songs, she has range, reach and courage. Most of the two sets, by my count, were populated by her praiseworthy tunes; the rest by reinventions of standards, like Body & Soul, or Just Squeeze Me. 

One of the new breed of generation why-not, young jazz writers, unafraid to risk crossing previously taboo musical borders, even into God-forbidden (and, God knows, often forsaken) pop, her influences occasionally show: Joni's one that floated past as I soaked-up this woman's unmistakable warmth, depth and heart-on-sleeve authenticity.

Shy and gawky-as, neither, in the final analysis, can detract from her rich musicality. A luxuriant Radox bath, compared to the prurient, tepid, dirty greywater poured on us, from a great height, by the likes of Britney's makers and minders, Berardi and co could easily eat up your days and nights, as you lay back and let a sea of feeling wash over you.

And, could she do it in any better company? How's this for a who's who? The irrepressible and impossibly versatile Mick Nock, whose massive reputation precedes him but which, again, isn't required, as your ears and sensibilities will incline you to believe you're in the presence of one of the greatest living jazz pianists. And you'd be dead right. Instead of succumbing to ego-driven showmanship at the piano, Nock focuses on synergy with other players and the spirit of the piece, executing a deft touch, playing all the right chords, in all the right places, with impeccable timing. James Muller might look unrelentingly dour & disengaged, but his licks are luscious and he's mastered a method of playing, which he uses here-and there, which sounds like George Martin's backwards Beatles' tapes. Mike Majkowski has an unassuming manner, but is a demon on bass. Tim Firth is a highly original and musical drummer. David Theak is a blast on tenor: just when you think he must be done, he keeps it going, and going; enthralling!

Katie Noonan describes being 'transfixed' by KB's 'beautiful, natural tone'; John Shand speaks of her exuding an 'ephemeral beauty'. But, believe me, you don't need even them to tell you. Nor her resume, which reflects triumphant successes, such as 'gold, gold, gold!' at Montreux's vocal comp.

If you've ears to listen and heart to affect, they'll more than suffice. Pitch-perfect, literally, and metaphorically.


Riverside Theatres presents
Kristin Berardi With Mike Nock
 
Venue: Riverside Theatres, Corner Church and Market Streets, Parramatta
Date & Time: Saturday 26 July at 7.30pm
Single Ticket Price: Adults $36, Concession $32, 30 & Under $28
Big Noter Prices: Adults $32, Concession $28, 30 & Under $24
Bookings: Riverside Box Office 02 8839 3399 or www.riversideparramatta.com.au

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