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Bebop Spoken There

Charles Lloyd: "I'm raring to go out to play, because I know I'll find something to explain the inexplicable." (DownBeat August 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! -- Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14438 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 716 of them this year alone and, so far, 13 this month (August 6).

From This Moment On ...

August

Wed 10: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 10: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Wed 10: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 10: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 10: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 11: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 11: Baghdaddies @ Cumberland Arms, Newcastle. Time TBC.
Thu 11: Indigo Jazz Voices: Little Big Band Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. POSTPONED!
Thu 11: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guests Donna Hewitt (sax) Josh Bentham (sax) Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 12: Ben Gilbert Trio @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm.
Fri 12: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 12: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 12: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.

Sun 14: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 14: Tees Valley Jazzmen @ Hammer & Pincers, Preston le Skerne. 1:00pm.
Sun 14: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ West Park, South Shields. 2:00pm.
Sun 14: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 14: Anth Purdy @ Blues & Bourbon, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Sun 14: Sunday Night Am Jam Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Note start time.

Mon 15: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 15: Stu Collingwood Organ Trio @ Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Vula Viel @ The Globe – Oct. 17

Bex Burch (gyil); Ruth Goller (bass); Jim Hart (drums)

Touring the UK and then onwards to dates in Denmark, Vula Viel’s German-registered tour van had arrived at their northernmost destination, the Globe. The arriving full house, though, was caught up in the deflated efflux from Newcastle United’s eventful but unsuccessful first renaissance attempt, up the road at the soon to be re-branded St James' Park.   As well as their continental connections, with Jim Hart based in France, and Ruth Goller hailing from the Süd Tirol, the band’s name (meaning “Good is Good”) and musical DNA are from even further afield than NUFC’s controversial sponsor, namely Ghana.

Bex Burch’s well documented (https://bexburch.com/vulaviel/) stay with the Dagaare people of  Upper West Ghana resulted in not only building and playing the remarkable gyil (a xylophone fitted with reverb effects)  but in adopting, and adapting, a whole musical structure based on the local tradition.  As well as the obvious distinctive repeated “African” rhythmical claves,  and the fixed pentatonic scale imposed by the gyil’s tuning, the music is strictly structured in long forms of alternating, repeated sections. The rigour of following these “changes” perhaps explains the concentration on the bass player’s face, as she had the continuous job of laying down both harmonic foundation and crunching riffs.  The serious look broke into smiles and laughter occasionally though, perhaps when the ever-inventive human dynamo Jim Hart did something unexpected on drums?

(Collage © Ken Drew)
The band launched straight into a single continuous set nearly two hours long, with almost no full stops and even fewer announcements, just occasionally slowing to a walking pace, making it difficult for the audience to gauge where to applaud! After a while, the crowd got the hang of what was going on, and enthusiastic cheering erupted after the most climactic episodes where all three players combined and interlocked in joyful grooves. These ever-shifting romps transcended the African feel recalling,  to my ear at least, the extended trance-like grooves of Can and other 70s  Krautrock bands.   Given the limited instrumental palette (previous line-ups featured sax and vibes) and rigid form, a surprising variety of intensity and mood was achieved, primarily by Hart’s supple power and ingenious deployment of every trick in the percussionist’s book – stick scrapes, crashes, chokes, shells, brushes, bells and the works!   Burch pulled off some beyond-the-xylophone stunts too, with intriguing searing reverb, and moody forays into vocals and a plucked thumb-harp.  The band finally closed by recruiting audience chanting for an encore of What’s Not Enough About That? from their well-received 2020 album.

Overall, a captivating and enjoyable voyage on a different musical ocean to my usual jazz waters – hats off to Vula Viel and the Globe for reminding us of the diversity and sheer joy of music out there! Chris K

1 comment :

Ken D said...

Just to add to Chris' fine review, it was in fact a co-promotion between Jazz North East and the Jazz.Coop (aka The Globe) re-scheduled from an earlier slot in the year. But its later booking certainly hit the spot in these happier times !!

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