CURRENT LOCATION: BRAZIL


Frederick is in South America. He has worked for AP, the BBC, CNN, The New York Times, the Guardian, Al Jazeera, VICE and others, recently reporting from Antarctica, Uruguay and Argentina.

Author Archive
James Carter - Present Tense

James Carter – Present Tense

James Carter may not yet be forty, but he possesses a degree of instrumental mastery which could easily be a lifetime’s work. At different stages of this record, the versatile multi-instrumentalist plays tenor, soprano and baritone saxophones as well as flute and bass clarinet, all with equal power and precision. This diverse approach to instrumental...
These Acoustics Can Electrify

These Acoustics Can Electrify

Pete Wareham is on a musical crusade: Acoustic Ladyland‘s frontman abandoned the traditional jazz direction to discover his real identity. Frederick Bernas heard all about it.

Antibalas / The Budos Band – Jazz Cafe, 19/4/08

A perfect warm-up for what was to come, The Budos Band took to the stage with well-synchronised, driving compositions and sharp melodies, matching the flawless studio sound of their two releases on Daptone Records. Definitely worth a headline slot in future, it surely will not be long before this materialises. The 11-man force that is...

Afrobeat: Tony Allen and Antibalas – Jazz Cafe

Within the space of one month, London’s Jazz Cafe plays host for two singular names in the Afrobeat genre: representing the old guard is Tony Allen, one of the foremost figures in the music’s inception. Representing the new generation is the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, a wild collection of New Yorkers with its own niche on...

Polar Bear – Ronnie Scott’s, 8/4/08

London’s famous jazz club has been going through troubled times. In December 2007 its artistic director resigned amidst criticism that the venue’s booking policy was veering away from the mainstream, hard jazz it is known for. Considering such complaints, it was surprising to see Polar Bear in the listings. Led by drummer Sebastian Rochford, the...

Robert Mitchell & Omar Puente – St Cyprian’s, 1/4/08

This unlikely duo of acoustic piano and electric violin allows Robert Mitchell and Omar Puente to stretch their considerable abilities beyond the confines of a conventional jazz group. Perhaps more unconventional was the venue, literally a Church of Jazz, tucked away near Baker Street in central London. This was the perfect acoustic for such a...
Richard Bona - Jazz Cafe, 30/3/08

Richard Bona – Jazz Cafe, 30/3/08

It’s an incredible story. Born in a small village in Cameroon, Richard Bona was raised by a musical household and developed a talent for building instruments. As a teenager he was inspired to take up bass guitar after hearing Jaco Pastorius. In 1995 he moved to New York and has flourished into an international star....
John Scofield - Jazz Cafe, 29/3/08

John Scofield – Jazz Cafe, 29/3/08

How to begin a review of a concert at which one’s musical outlook has been picked up, shaken about, flung around haphazardly and finally set back down in a completely different state? John Scofield has enjoyed a rich and varied career, the nature of which is aptly mirrored in his guitar playing. Material from his...

Acoustic Ladyland – Vortex, 28/3/08

As the act which opened the new Vortex in 2005, Acoustic Ladyland hold a special place in the hearts of many club regulars. The band returned on March 28 to a full house of over 100 people, with the usual table layout abandoned to create an entirely different atmosphere. It is a standing audience which...
The Blessing - All Is Yes

The Blessing – All Is Yes

One of the most sideways-thinking groups on the vibrant UK jazz scene, The Blessing are rapidly expanding outwards from their Bristol home. Signed on a three-album deal to Candid Records, the band has just completed a successful nationwide tour to promote the first in the series, All Is Yes. The title fits. It’s evident that...

Three Gigs, Two Cities, 48 Hours

An epic musical journey from downtown Bristol to fashionable Shoreditch via London’s South Bank, this could definitely be regarded as a full weekend. Saturday November 24 saw three of Bristol’s finest live acts and numerous DJs swarm to The Attic in Stokes Croft, a new underground venue starting to attract a lot of talent. A...

Tord Gustavsen Trio / Stefano Bollani & Enrico Rava

London Jazz Festival, Wednesday 21/11/07 In an evening designed to showcase the celebrated European record label ECM, listeners at the Barbican Centre were treated to a pair of highly differing acoustic performances. The Italian duo of maverick young pianist Stefano Bollani and veteran trumpeter Enrico Rava played with a zestful understanding that openly defied their...