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Bebop Spoken There

Pat Thomas: “He’s definitely one to watch, he's going to be a breath of fresh air for the jazz scene. What I like is he [Xhosa Cole] plays like Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins - you don't hear anybody come from that. He knows tunes like "Fried Bananas" by Dexter Gordon and he can play free as well." - (The Wire September 2021)

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.
Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST! --

Postage

13,685 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1102 of them this year alone and, so far, 46 this month (Sept. 13).

From This Moment On ...

September

Fri 17: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 17: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 17: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 17: Abbie Finn's Finntet @ Traveller's Rest, Cockerton, Darlington. 8:00pm.

Sat 18: Baghdaddies @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sat 18: David Gray Trio @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 19: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 19: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Westbourne Road, Hartlepool TS25 5RB. 1:00pm. South Durham Social Club aka Steelworks or Steelies. New venue for Teesside's premier big band.
Sun 19: Hand to Mouth: Lindsay Hannon & Bradley Johnston @ St James' & St Basil's Church, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 19: Green Tangerines + Knats @ Punch Bowl Hotel, Newcastle. 3:30pm.
Sun 19: Alice Grace Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 20: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 22: Darlington Big Band @ Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public)
Wed 22: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Celebrating TITTB's 20th anniversary & Dave Weisser's forthcoming birthday! Limited gig tickets (£1.00.). Free live stream. www.jazz.coop.

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 23: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall 8:00pm. .
Thu 23: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside, Gateshead. 8:30pm. .

Fri 24: Sue Ferris Quintet @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: FILM: Jazz on a Summer's Day + Swing Bridge Trio (in the bar) @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 7:00pm.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"James "Blood" Ulmer @ Rich Mix, Bethnal Green. EFG London Jazz Festival - November 13

James "Blood" Ulmer (guitar, vocal), Mark Peterson (bass guitar), Aubrey Dayle (drums).
(Review by Steve T).
This is my fifth consecutive London Jazz Festival but the first time I wanted to go for the endurance, or at least nine out of the ten nights. Things were already skewered by events back home in the North East, including The Cookers and Robert Glasper swapping nights with London. I knew early on I was going to the second Saturday so Plan A was Tuesday to Sunday. When James ‘Blood’ Ulmer was announced for the first Sunday, two trips became the only solution.

Ulmer’s music is widely heard as a blend of Jazz, blues, funk, rock and punk-rock, though I would refute the latter; I doubt very much that he spent his time listening to the Sex Pistols and the Clash or even the New York Dolls and Ramones. I suspect his indifference to tonality and revolutionary instincts come from Hendrix, Zappa, Beefheart, his blues influences (John Lee Hooker, Alberts King and Collins), his funk influences (particularly the P variety) and his old boss Ornette Coleman.
He has claimed nothing has happened with the guitar since Hendrix - not a view I share - but, despite his greatness and importance, Hendrix' music was mostly riff, verse, chorus, solo, mostly in 4/4. It would be impossible to accuse Blood of that. As a guitarist he's not really a virtuoso - that isn't the point - he's rough and raw and roars; there's nothing much by way of melody to whistle along to - and on occasion, pieces seem to just come to a sudden abrupt ending, and, as with Beefheart, - my guess as to the punk-rock confusion - there's far more going on than first meets the ear.
When playing in a bass-less violin trio he strings his guitar differently and occasionally employs horns and backing vocals in much bigger bands, the focus and emphasis of styles shifting accordingly. Tonight was about the power trio and the album Are you Glad to be in Americacoincidentally the only vinyl album I had by him and, while it's readily available in that format, a CD would cost a couple of limbs and whichever of my bright fancy, shirts I was wearing at the time. Instead, I bought nine albums, all of them good, and all a similar mix of styles but with the focus shifting according to the band and the musicians in that band. 

Rich Mix had wisely removed all chairs since they hosted Kandace Springs the previous evening. The faithful formed a tight throng emanating out from the stage, anticipation of greatness in the atmosphere. Anybody who turned up because it was a Jazz gig, anticipating silence from the audience and polite applause between solos, was destined for disappointment. Likewise, anyone who thought they were in for a bit of nostalgic hopping and hockling, with police riot squads arriving on cue, like we get from the BBC every time punk rock is mentioned. Although the throng noticeably thinned, numbers largely held up.

My plus one for the evening, a lifelong Bowie fanatic which has spilled over to Iggy and, early on, I turned to him and said Raw Powerthe title of one of Mr. Pops most famous albums. A couple next to us danced throughout - soul/ jazz-funk style - and I commended him on his lady, pointing out that my missus only allows this kind of thing under suffrage. A chap at the bar engaged me about the respective ages of Blood and Hendrix, was the latter still alive?
When you have a 'runaway train' like Blood and it feels like anything can happen, it's sometimes necessary to have a bass and drums pairing to keep it grounded, and I don't believe anybody could have done a better job than Peterson and Dayle in keeping this difficult music together.
The bass solo began fairly low key, but, once he got his funk on, it seemed to last the remainder of the set. I've seen so many slap bass players over the years that I tend to take most of them for granted but he seemed to find even more notes! Like Jaco in the live version of Badia/Boogie Woogie Waltz from 8:30.
Singling out individual pieces would be pointless, even though the venue very helpfully provided me with a set-list (as well as the names of the band), but I only recognised a few, even though I've heard them all. It was about being there, living the moment, a little imbibing and lots of camaraderie among the faithful making it, not just a fantastic concert but a great night all round.  

Steve T.

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