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Bebop Spoken There

Victor Wooten: "People don't expect to have bass players get together and sound like music and not just like a bunch of elephants" (JazzTimes April, 2022)

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

14226 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 445 of them this year alone and, so far, 45 this month (May 13).

From This Moment On ...

May.

Wed 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 18: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 18: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 18: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 19: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 19: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Thu 19: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 19: 58 Jazz Collective @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. TBC.

Fri 20: Andrea Vicari Trio @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Vicari (piano), Andy Champion (double bass), Abbie Finn (drums).
Fri 20: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 20: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 20: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 20: Swing Bridge @ Garden House Coffee, Hallgate, Hexham. 4:05pm.
Fri 20: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Fri 20: Customs House Big Band w Ruth Lambert @ Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm.
Fri 20: Andrea Vicari Trio @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £12.00. Opus 4 Jazz Club. Vicari (piano), Andy Champion (double bass), Abbie Finn (drums).

Sat 21: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Market Place, Darlington. 11:00am - 3:00pm. All star line-up!
Sat 21: Elkie Brooks @ Whitley Bay Playhouse. 7:30pm.
Sat 21: Jools Holland’s R & B Orchestra @ The Hippodrome, Darlington. 7:30pm.
Sat 21: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 22 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 22: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 22: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 22: Abstract Orchestra plays J Dilla @ Wylam Brewery, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Sun 22: Panharmonia @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Mon 23: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 25: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 25: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 25: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Miriam Ast and Victor Gutiérrez, Secret Songs European Tour @ Lit and Phil – March 15.

Miriam Ast (voice); Victor Gutiérrez (piano).
(Review/photos 
by Brian E)


German songstress Miriam Ast and Madrileño piano virtuoso Victor Gutiérrez certainly didn’t take the ‘A’ train for this leg of their Secret Songs European tour. Having previously taken in Prague, Mainz, Cologne and Leeds, the next stops are to be Hampstead in London, Freinsheim in the Rhineland, then Madrid and Palencia in Spain.  

After their train broke down between Retford and Doncaster, they eventually reached York just in time to catch an (also delayed) TransPennine Express to get to Central Station 10 minutes after their concert was due to start. Fortunately, Paul Edis was not just host but a first-rate stand-in and entertained the patient audience with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Surrey with a Fringe on Top and (yes) Billy Strayhorn’s famous Harlem number.

Enthusiastic applause greeted the duo’s hurried entry to the Loftus Room and, quickly composing themselves, Victor played a chord on the piano and Miriam took us straight into Cole Porter’s Night And Day. Very quickly the audience were treated not only to Miriam’s perfect pitch and pure voice, Victor’s piano enhancing the melody and pushing her on, but also to their first experience of Miriam’s flowing improvised vocalese.

This set the pattern for the rest of the shortened programme. Miriam’s self-composed Love Song followed. A sumptuous piano introduction, Miriam’s voice soft and melodious, singing first the yearning lyrics then extemporising dreamily into Victor’s long reflective solo. Next Spanish Song by Victor, opening with Miriam scatting the fast melody, quickly joined by Victor’s rolling piano. Victor’s compositions are full of melody and are a vehicle for voice and keyboard to improvise together and take the music where their collective inspiration leads them. Miriam seems to have unlimited imagination and range of both notes and sounds, using all the possibilities of voice-box, tongue, teeth, lips and mouth.

Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz’s Alone Together followed, both performers taking solos after the lyric, Miriam’s voice first floating mellifluously, then supporting Victor’s piano with percussive, implosive, clicking, cicada sounds. Monk’s ‘Round Midnight was the next vehicle for the duo’s exploration. Miriam’s articulation of the lyrics is perfect. I’ve heard them by so many singers, and they seemed just like lyrics to a fantastic tune, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever really felt the atmosphere, the regret and the hope behind them. Then again there’s Victor’s changing pace and rhythmic pulse enhancing and bring the best from Miriam’s flowing and mazy vocal runs.

Ast and Gutiérrez finished with Victor’s Don’t Get Too Cocky, another lyric-less composition for voice and piano. Victor explained the puzzle of the title as his response to the current self-harming UK political situation – dare I mention the B word! It starts with Miriam’s percussive improvisation over Victor strumming the piano strings with one hand and playing the bass chords with the other, but soon develops into another beautiful composition, giving both the chance to demonstrate the true symbiosis of their improvisational skills.

Time was up – the room had to be cleared for Music Exams – so we have to await another opportunity to hear more from this remarkable duo – next year’s Gateshead International Jazz Festival?? Or perhaps we can tempt them back to the Gala Lunchtime Concerts in Durham before then.
Brian


PS: Secret Songs is due for a new pressing, the first pressing having sold out on the tour. It was reviewed last year on BSHLink.  

A lengthy interview with Miriam and Victor along with a CD review can be found on LondonJazzNews. 

Various songs can also be heard on YouTube.

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