Norman Warwick rounds them all up

another MASTERLY DISPLAY for archive on-line

The Pomegranate Trio: St. Michael´s Church, Bamford 2022

reviewed by Graham Marshall, Rochdale Music Society

I founded The Rochdale amateur Light Orchestra in 2008 with help of some enthusiastic local musicians. We wanted to get together on a regular basis to rehearse and perform music of a generally light-hearted nature from the mediæval to the present times. This we have done, with the obvious exception of lockdown and other necessary quiet times!

At present we have some twenty regular players augmented by a few others, who join us in time to take part in our two or three concerts a year. These are well attended, not only because we do not charge for admission and we provide light refreshments during the interval, but also because we appear to offer programmes which audiences find attractive and artistically rewarding. So they tell us. And they make generous contributions to our running costs on their way out.

These days we rehearse on Wednesday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm in the parish church of St. Michael. Bamford at the junction of Bury and Rochdale Old Road and Queen’s Park Avenue, Heywood. We also perform there.

Our website- www.rochdalelightorchestra.org – gives you a list of music we’re rehearsing for a Jubilee Concert on October 5th. This includes a Fanfare and Anthem for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, words and music by one of our violinists, Peter Farnbank. It also includes a song by Rochdale guitarist and singer, Geoff Alexander, which celebrates the rich heritage of Rochdale and is entitled, “I’m going back to Rochdale”. These will give the audience a good opportuinity to join in the singing after a short rehearsal.

The programme will contain some familiar music, too: Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 (“Land of hope and glory”), Eric Coates’ Dam Busters March, to mention but just two.

Our motto – ‘making music from the heart’ says it all about our aim to please our audiences as much as we oruselvers find pleasure in performing for them. Do come and join us. You will be very welcome, and I’m sure you will enjoy your musical evening with us.

Meanwhile, here’s my review of the most recent Rochdale Music Society concert by The Pomegranate Trio:-

Rochdale Music Society continues to provide the Borough with concerts of great music performed by great artists. With regard to this visit of the Pomegranate Trio (left) to St. Michael’s church, Bamford, that may be something of an understatement. For the three musicians who make up the group, Fenella Barton (violin), Rebecca Hepplewhite (Cello) and Andrew West (Piano), have formidable pedigrees, and came together to perform with a masterly display of artistic perception and technical accomplishment.

It was such an evening of music making of the highest standards, displaying to the full music’s capacity to delight and thrill, that I find it difficult to say anything more than that it was an exceptional experience – one for those who were there to treasure.

Such was the audience’s enthusiastic appreciation of each item in the programme that I am emboldened to use such language of unreserved approval!

The concert began with the Trio performing a piece written in his late teenage years (1880) by Claude Debussy. This shows the emerging talent of a composer who was going to go on to produce masterpieces in his own way, freed from the constraints of German composers, like Wagner, whose exploitation of chromaticism did not suit a free spirited and super talented Frenchman. In terms of programming it proved the perfect way to begin a concert of three Trios representing the height of late Romantic Gallic achievement in this field: tuneful, wayward at times, always inventive, colourful and warm.

Fauré’s Trio, which came next, was among the last works he completed 1923-4). It is the work of an old master whose mind is still a rich store of imaginative and inventive ideas. From the unassuming tunefulness of its opening bars through the equally deceptive melodic phrasing of the middle movement to its to its spectacularly straightforward final bars it engages the listener and performer alike in a display of melodic phrases, harmonic progressions and rhythmic twists that are captivating and convincing in a most masterly way. The performers knew this, and showed how it works out in a fine performance.

In any concert of Piano Trios that by Ravel is likely to stand out as a tour de force for the players. At the time of its writing (1913 –14) Ravel was at the height of his career, already armed with the most outrageously demanding calls on those who were to perform his solo piano and other chamber music. This kind of music obliges the players to use the whole of body to be fully engaged in achieving the results he envisages. It is a challenge almost impossible to describe to anyone who has not held a violin swaying in their arms, been seated with a cello cradled between their knees or a piano sited at hands length in front of them! To have any chance of a satisfying performance you must become immersed in Ravel’s musical world with its ebb and flow of the most delicate, dramatic, distant and/or disturbing sonorities and enjoy the privilege of being there. For the listener it is something to be grateful for, and to find in it such spiritual uplift as will linger long after the air has ceased to vibrate with the waves of its musical messaging. The audience on this occasion rightly marvelled at the vast range of entrancing and mind haunting sonorities produced in such a short time by just three musicians – acting under the composer’s orders, of course!

Rochdale Music Society’s next concert will take place on Saturday, 19 November at 7.30pm in St. Michael’s Church, Bamford, when brothers Oscar (violin) and Barney (piano) Tabor (right)will play a wide range of solos and duets by Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Massenet and Chopin among others. Full details to be found on the website www.rochdalemusicsociety.org.

Oscar Tabor has  just returned to the UK after living and working in Berlin for a year and a half. he is thrilled to be back and able to perform in person safely again now that all the pandemic restrictions have been lifted.!

Oscar is a classically trained Violinist and a teacher of both Violin and Piano and he graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2018. 

His solo repertoire includes Classical music, Tango’s, Gypsy Jazz, Klezmer, Irish trad, and pop music.

Upon request oscar able to form ensembles with a myriad of different musicians of all sorts of different styles, Pianists, Guitarists, Accordionists, wind players, Brass and other string players.

On this occasion he will performing alongside his brother Barney.at the piano.

Don´T miss it if you live in that area of the UK.


by Norman Warwick

Meanwhile, there is another Jazz In Reading event taking place at

Pangbourne Working  Mens´ Jazz Club

Rosewood Hall

Whitchurch Road

Pangbourne RG8 7BS

A really nice venue in a beautiful setting. With club bar prices and ample parking. Pangbourne Jazz Club is delighted to be here. The Club will run every first Sunday in the month. For any further information: brian.greene@gigajam.com

Sunday 6 November | 7:30pm start

Only £10 entry | Cheap bar | Raffle | Public Car Park

Pay on the door or book online here

Mark Nightingale (trombone)

will beBacked by  the Pangbourne Jazz Club rhythm section:
Terry Hutchins (guitar) | Andy Crowdy (double bass)
Jim Pollard (piano) | Brian Greene (drums).

Multi award-winning jazz trombonist Mark Nightingale is now a firmly established favourite on the UK jazz scene, and has gained a reputation as one of the top-flight jazz trombonists in Europe and worldwide. Mark has had longstanding musical associations playing in bands lead by John Dankworth, Cleo Laine, Stan Tracey, Kenny Wheeler, Andy Panayi, Clark Tracey, and Alan Barnes over the years. He also fronts various small groups and a big band of his own, featuring his own compositions and arrangements. 

Mark is also a busy studio musician in London and has played on hundreds of movie soundtracks, and has been fortunate to play and record with some of the greats in all genres of music. These include Ray Brown, Clark Terry, Scott Hamilton, James Morrison, Bill Holman, Frank Sinatra, Charlie Watts, Sting and Steely Dan. 

He is best known to many young players for his growing catalogue of educational studies and short pieces published by ‘Warwick Music’, and used extensively by the ABRSM and Trinity/Guildhall in their music exam syllabi. 

Coming next to Pangbourne Jazz Club

Sunday 4 December

Andy Dickens (trumpet)
& Al Nicholls (saxophones)

Sunday 5 February
Simon Bates (saxophones)

Jazz In Reading Streaming Out

alex poster Jazz in Reading have also asked Sidetracks And Detours to share some very exciting news with our readers. JIR,  delighted to have teamed up with Guildford Jazz to promote their BEAT project which is funded by Arts Council England, are doing all they can to promote the next generation of younger jazz artists and to help clubs attract a younger audience.

This means that (as an alternative to attending the live events) supporters of Jazz in Reading have access to a livestream, on the night and for a week afterwards (details below).

The next BEAT project from the Boileroom Guildford has the Alex Hitchcock Quartet headlining, with a support act.

Alex Hitchcock tenor sax | Noah Stoneman piano | Rio Kai bass | Myele Manzanza drums

Alex Hitchcock is one of the UK’s most virtuosic young jazz sicians.

‘An incredible saxophonist, with something unique and original to say’ – Walter Smith III.

‘Expect to hear amazing things from a musician who has been making cataclysmic waves in the sound of UK jazz’ – Jazzwise.

Performing highlights have already included include Love Supreme Festival, Glastonbury, Ronnie Scott’s., the North Sea Jazz Festival (Netherlands) and the Royal Albert Hall

Alex’s quintet’s critically acclaimed 2018 debut album was described by All About Jazz as ‘an exquisitely subtle collection of tunes… the clearest indicator to date of the stratospheric trajectory on which this super-talented quintet is indubitably heading’. His group AuB released its debut album on Edition Records in 2020.

Support: Phil Chev Quintet

Phil Chev is a 23 Year old multi-instrumental musician recently graduated in Music from the University of Surrey, now living in London beginning a career as a freelance musician and teacher. The Phil Chev Quintet are a collective of up and coming musicians who blend a mix of jazz, fusion, pop, funk and soul with inspirations from the likes of Chick Corea, Snarky Puppy, Tom Misch, Jacob Collier and Stevie Wonder. 

This all takes place at

The Boileroom,13 Stoke Fields, Guildford. Surrey, GU14LS (click here for how to get there)

Please note this event is standing only

Doors open 7pm, Support act 7.30pm

Tickets £12 (£10 for Guildford Jazz Members, £5 students/concessions) + booking fee – available here.

How to watch

The livestream will be available free for supporters of Jazz in Reading until Friday 11 November.

However, we would ask you to make a donation which will go directly to the musicians. As a guide to a suitable donation, the ticket price for the live performances is £12

Watch here – the broadcast is best watched with headphones or through good speakers.

Best wishes from The Jazz In Reading Team and all good wishes to all concerned from us here at Sidetracks And Detours.


and another on the way !

Apparently September was just as exciting month for Atlanta based jazz vocalist and songwriter Karla Harris as October has already become for us here at Sidetracks And Detours.

Karla (shown left on tour with fellow musicians) tells fans on her excellent and easy to negotiate web site that´September was a tremendous month of , with two trips tpo the Oregon coast, a jazz and blues festival at her performing base in Atlanta and a performance with Atlanta Latin Jazz Orchestra.´

Siletz bay Music festival in Lincoln City, Oregon, found her making music with friends from Portland as well as meeting new friends there too., and the people who work so hard in support of this festival. Karla sang three numbers with The Siletz Bay Orchestra including two form the Certain Elements that we referred to in our post yesterday, entitled Moon To Gold With Karla Harris, and a gorgeous arrangement of Bridge over Troubled Water a song she has just released on her Moon To Gold album.  That article is now available in our free easy-to negotiate archives.

Last month Karla also supported a local festival, close to where she lives, with a great band of Atlanta musicians to an enthusiast crowd of music lovers. Karla is always keen to spread the word, not only about her own music but also about the music of artists she works with along the way. When her spot was over she spent the rest of the Festival to the ´wonderful line-up that followed, including The Hunter Tones.

At The Oregon Coast Jazz Party , Karla met and worked with great artists like John Clayton, Lewis nash, Mike Wofford and Roxy Cross and worked again with the leading pianist Randy Porter and the ´fine fellows´ of Central Coast Hazz Alliance- Karla also sat quietly in the wings and listened Terrel Staffod and the Monty Alexander Trio from what was probably the best seat in the house !

Green Rooms are always excellent places for gathering perceived wisdom about the state of the art, and in the green room Karla and picked up on a quote from John Clayton, who toured with Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan and studied with Ray Brown. According to Clayton, Ray Brown believed that ´the doors of opportunity open to you based on the level of your art.´ John´s philosophy is to keep getting better at what you do, and opportunity will find you.  A positive outlook that has served him well.  Karla pays close attention to good advice and she reckons this particular piece is definitely a keeper.

It was during a Jazz Road tour last summer, that Karla and Joe Alterman received several requests from people to release a joint album.  Joe´s trio and Karla have performed together several times, so they gave it a go and now Karla has proudly announced the release of Moon To Gold (right), an album of standards for the straight-ahead jazz lovers like me.  Joe´s trio swings hard, and that´s what it´s all about on this record. 

It is this album, reviewed yesterday on these pages that has made October so exciting us here in the Sidetracks And Detours bunker, being almost constantly playing in the background while we work.

Check out the track by track listing on in yesterday´s post on Sidetracks And Detours..

All this is also reported on Karla´s  web site,….. but her report closes  with the dynamite promise  that ´before long, there will be another album to announce …Stay tuned..)

And watch this space, too !!


We have previously featured an artist who spends much of her time here on the island. She once contributed to an article for us entitled What Is Good Art? What Good Is Art? in November 2021 after we had reported on a previous exhibition of hers in October 2021, called Art Finds Its Own Space. Both these articles remain inm our easy to negotiate archives of more than 750 articles.

 Sigrid Braun-Umbach (shown here with Norman Warwick from Sidetracks And Detours) again reaches out to her ´dear friends of my work on Lanzarote´,´to inform us that there is another calendar for 2023 – this time only with photographs of our beautiful island of Lanzarote. I look forward to presenting the calendar on site and cordially invite you to visit a live exhibition…

Sunday, November 6th

from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Centro de Terapia Antroposófica,

Calle Salinas 12,

Puerto del Carmen (Sala)

I will show a small exhibition of other works in addition to the calendar pictures – there are drawings, prints, watercolors and acrylic paintings and mixed media. The calendar is published in a limited edition of 30 copies, all signed and numbered. The format is DIN A4 , the price is 30 EURO

I look forward to seeing you there

Sigrid Braun-Umbach


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