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Bebop Spoken There

Kenny Garrett: "I think about the past and the elders and connecting everything together, and it being as a whole, or as one." - (DownBeat, December 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! --


14743 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1362 of them this year alone and, so far, 78 this month (Nov. 24).

From This Moment On ...


Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 26: Hot Club du Nord @ St Cuthbert's Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.CANCELLED!

Sat 27: East Coast Swing Band @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm.
Sat 27: Anth Purdy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. 'Swing Jazz Guitar'.
Sat 27: Heimatdamisch Bavarian Oompah Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 28 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 28: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 28: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 28: Alex Ord & Jude Murphy @ St Edmund's Church, Sedgefield. 3:00pm. Ord (piano), Murphy (bass).
Sun 28: Emma Johnson's Gravy Boat @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 29: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.


Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: Jools Holland’s R & B Orchestra @ Newcastle City Hall. Doors: 6:30pm. 1st night.
Wed 01: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00-9:30pm. In the bar.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 01: Tom Ollendorff @ Café Cathedral, Owengate, Durham. 8:00pm. £5.00. A Durham Jazz Soc. event.

Thu 02: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. £22.00. Xmas lunch. Tel: 0191 691 7090.
Thu 02: Jools Holland’s R & B Orchestra @ Newcastle City Hall. Doors: 6:30pm. 2nd night.
Thu 02: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Orchestra @ Billingham Catholic Club. 7:30pm. Fundraiser for SVP. Tickets: £5.00. from 07757 062798.
Thu 02: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club, Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 03: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. £22.00. Xmas lunch. Tel: 0191 691 7090.
Fri 03: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Classic Swing @ Saltburn Community Theatre. 7:30pm.

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 ( 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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