The ensemble created enchanting and somehow timeless interpretations of this music. There was no kind of ´show biz´ at all other than the beautiful blend of their voices, an incredible precision and a conductor who drew each and every nuance of the music from his Consort. There was an ebb and flow, a rise and fall, to a music that was an homage, a prayer if you will, that engaged a full house audience throughout. The fusion of male and female voices created a wide range and harmonies bounced around the Convent, and allowed ofr change of tone by there being all female or all male deliveries too. The high ceilings and wide open space of this centuries old venue enhanced the hymnal tone of the recital.


If you can´t make it to a live gig, or if you need more jazz on your plate in between live gigs, you may already be aware that jazz is regularly covered here along our Sidetracks And Detours pages.  This week (Wednesday 2nd February) we publish in full Steve Bewick´s recent chat on his Hot Biscuits mix-cloud programme with jazz pianist and singer-writer Jenny Bray. The jazz teacher and recording artist talks about her time working and playing in America, her recent return to the UK and her recordings to date. Jenny even shares a few clues with us about her live schedule for 2023 and her on-going work on a new album to be available, hopefully, by the early weeks of next year.


Any biography of Beethoven is in fact a portrait of the universal artist, and demonstrates that the most fascinating careers are never straightforward.

´neath the strength of strings of THE CASALS QUARTET

The Casals Quartet, winner of the 2006 National Music Award, is one of the most interesting and prestigious Spanish chamber ensembles on the international scene. It is made up of the violinists Abel Tomás and Vera Martínez, the viola player Jonathan Brown and the cellist Arnau Tomás. Together they have been on stage for more than 25 years, since its foundation at the Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid. His name is his tribute to one of the best cellists of all time, Pau Casals. 


“pop” has more going on than it’s usually given credit for. Artists don’t have to move beyond “pop” to achieve loftier ambitions. There’s plenty of room for nuance and drama amid the hooks and beats.

turning of the jazz MOON TO GOLD

It is far more certain that Moon To Gold is a jazz album. By Karla Harris and the Joe Alterman Trio (left), the album boasts beautiful Nat King Cole or Oscar Peterson sounding trills along the piano by Joe, strolling bass lines by Kevin Smith and exciting but always empathetic drums by Justin Chesarek. However, it also contains songs I consider to be real Americana and Karla delivers a lovely, sad and sultry performance of Blue Moon and her glorious version of Bridge Over Troubled Water, that great sixties folk song, or is it a blues, or a gospel or even a hymnal jazz song in disguise?

in search of LagOmar: land of legend

This week one of the most emblematic architectural works of Lanzarote, inspired by the work of César Manrique, has gone on sale. Lagomar goes on sale for 7.5 million euros.


Now, in a 50th anniversary edition, popular music scholar Robert Rawlins brings the book fully up-to-date for the 21st century. Whereas previous editions featured only piano scores, the format has been changed to lead sheet notation with lyrics, making it accessible to a wider readership. Rawlins has also added more than sixty music examples to help complete the chapter on Irving Berlin.
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The use of textile language as metaphor continued to expand and develop. The warp and the weft (or woof), referring to the weaving together of horizontal and vertical yarn, has come to signify the building blocks or components of life or of an argument. More mundanely, losing the thread, cottoning on, and lining the pocket, are all self-explanatory terms. Dyed in the wool emphasises that cloth dyed before weaving retains its deep colour and is superior to the wool that is dyed in the piece.


as had been obvious by the laughter during the performance the audience had enjoyed themselves and were taking happy memories home with them and it is possible that members of this somewhat non-traditional audience for this genre of muisc might well return for more.