REVIEW: Fini Bearman - Burn the Boat Album Launch at Brilliant Corners

Fini Bearman at the launch
Photo Credit: Andy Wasley / courtesy of Fini Bearman


Fini Bearman - Burn the Boat Album launch
(Brilliant Corners, Dalston. 25th October 2016. Review by Rachel Maby)

The honest and musically open-minded approach of Fini Bearman's latest album Burn the Boat is what hits one the most. The music is full of nit and grit in its funky bass lines played by Conor Chaplin on electric bass, such as the one in the album's title song. There is floating folkloric material and ethereal guitar line played by Nick Costley-White, most notably on Sand on Sand. The music completely speaks for itself, captivating the listener with Bearman’s catchy melodies, strong harmonic structures and poetic lyricism.

The new album was launched last Tuesday at the intimate Dalston venue, Brilliant Corners, and featured a four-piece rhythm section comprising Matt Robinson (piano), Nick Costley-White (guitar), Conor Chaplin (bass) and Dave Hamblett (drums). Tucked into the back room of the bar/Japanese restaurant, the 50 seat venue was jam packed and full of a host of London jazz musicians, family and friends.

This repertoire is rooted in the singer-songwriter world, with elements of improvisation seeping through intricate harmonic song structures. Bearman showed off her vocal colour in the incredibly mixed musical language, from strong driving soulful tones used on ‘Gone’ to beautiful folk vocal melismatic style on ‘I’d rather have the rain’. Her intonation was astounding and I think this was greatly illustrated on the rhythmically syncopated and contrapuntal texture on Portuguese inspired ‘I know, I alone’.

I especially love the way she uses her beautiful heart-warming vibrato to both drive emotion and vocal power in her music and then contrasts this with breathy head voice sections to show a raw vulnerability. She’s a true jazz artist – able to chose from a vast palette of vocal colours to suit the mood and emotional intent of her music.

The Burn the Boats album tour starts on Thursday 2nd February 2017 at King’s Place.

LINKS: Interview with Fini Bearman
Purchase the album from the Two Rivers Records bandcamp page

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