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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 2024.

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!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16382 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 262 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (April 20).

From This Moment On ...

April

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30-3:30pm. £12.00. ‘St George’s Day Afternoon Tea’. Gig with ‘Lashings of Victoria Sponge Cake, along with sandwiches & scones’.
Tue 23: Jalen Ngonda @ Newcastle University Students’ Union. POSTPONED!

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 25: Jim Jams @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Jim Jams’ funk collective.
Thu 25: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 25: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Kate O’Neill, Alan Law & Paul Grainger @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 26: Graham Hardy Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: Paul Skerritt with the Danny Miller Big Band @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 26: Abbie Finn’s Finntet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 27: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 28: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: More Jam Festival Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Swing Dance workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Free (registration required). A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox: The '10' Tour @ Glasshouse International Centre for Music, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £41.30 t0 £76.50.
Sun 28: Alligator Gumbo @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Jerron Paxton @ The Cluny, Newcastle. Blues, jazz etc.

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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