sidetracks & detours present PASS IT ON 59 weekly supplement Sunday 30 6 2024

sidetracks & detours



weekly supplement Sunday 30 6 2024


Come Hear The Call


by Akela

Live Jazz Review

Nuclear Bebopalypse: Gaz Hughes Trio:

by Trevor Bannister

Jazz in Reading         


Friday 19 July

Live Jazz Progress Theatre, Reading, 12th July


preview by Jazz In Reading                                                       

Jazz On Air

HOT BISCUITS served up by Steve Bewick

Live Music


previewed by newsletter

A Reader´s Perspective: All Points Forward

BEN GLOVER Singer-songwriter

An introduction from Peter Pearson

Island Insights

SOLEMNITY AND CELEBRATION                                                               

by Norman Warwick

Come Hear The Call


by Akela

Hello, and thanks for joining us to read all the arts news we have been gathering for you this week. In case you have missed any of our daily posts let us remind you of what have made available. We set off last week to follow up rumours we had heard of a great guitar revival, and it seems to be true, and that reminds me to refer you to a great programme presented on Sky Arts at the moment, called Great Guitar, presented by ex Police man Stuart Copeland. He is a genial host. The following day my heart skipped a beat when I thought I had glimpsed the look of love from Jazz artist, Diana Krall, but I think I probably imagined it. I became even more confused the following day when I turned up to hear a rock choir but instead heard the last minute stand ins,….a classical duo. Later I bumped into the New London Chamber Ensemble, before buying a book on Living The Jazz Life for the bigger bookshelf we are building in our Lanzarote Office. Even if you have caught up with all this week´s daily posts there is still plenty for you to read in today´s PASS IT ON 59 Sunday Supplement. The gang´s all here and so are the rest of The Usual Suspects. All our jazz crew have turned up, including Trevor Bannister who offers us an intriguing gig review. Jazz In Reading, and our voice on the radio Steve Bewick have submitted their usual listings and news and Manchester Music Festival inform us that their 50th anniversary is creeping ever nearer. Our Americana correspondent shows he is still looking at all points forward as an artist he introduced to us only a couple of weeks ago is a major Americana award winner. Norman Warwick closes this week´s edition by sharing with you his admiration for the Yaiza Ladies Choir on Lanzarote, with another island insight.

Live Jazz Review by Trevor Bannister

Nuclear Bebopalypse: Gaz Hughes Trio: Andrzej Baranek keyboard, James Owston bass & Gaz Hughes drums

nb This event took place on Friday 21st June 2024

If football coach Gareth Southgate is serious about improving England’s fading fortunes in the Euro ’24 competition, he would do well to check out the Gaz Hughes Trio. It’s performance at the Progress Theatre on Friday 21 June, part of a 50-date ‘Nuclear Bebopalypse’ tour of the UK, had everything that was missing from England’s inept display against Denmark – perfect balance, poise, purpose, exciting changes in pace, the light and shade of emotional expression and oodles of energetic creative spirit.  Above all, it was hugely entertaining.

A passion for the cause, of course also helps. In Gaz Hughes’ case, this passion comes from his unwavering belief in the power of swing through the classic format of the piano trio à la Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell et al. Nor should we forget the musicians’ near telepathic understanding (a sense all the more remarkable given that James Owston was a deputy for the evening) or their willingness to push the boundaries.

The boundaries, imbuing the music with an irresistible knife-edge excitement.

All these attributes were well to the fore in the dazzling brilliance of Beboptical Illusion’ and the relaxed slow-build of ‘AB’s Blues’ which opened the evening.

The lush ‘Beautiful Moons Ago’, a beautifully romantic piece, composed by guitarist Oscar Moore with lyrics by his then boss Nat King Cole, took us back to 1946 and paid tribute to Nat’s place in the lineage of great piano trios.

The classic Ellington/Strayhorn collaboration, ‘Satin Doll’, here revealed in all its sumptuous glory, worked especially well as a nuanced conversation piece between Baranek at the keyboard and the bass of James Owston.

‘The next number,’ Gaz Hughes announced, ‘Is by George Shearing … but I’m not going to tell you what it’s called.’  It took a while before the familiar strains of  ‘Lullaby of Broadway’ began to emerge from a heady mix of Latin American colour, topped by the visually stunning display of hand-drumming of the leader.

We didn’t realise at the time, but the wistful charm of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, title song to Disney’s 1951 animated feature film, represented the calm before the storm. ’Nuclear Bebopalypse’ hit the audience with all the explosive force the title suggests and more. What can I say? We were absolutely knocked out by Andrzej Baranek’s astonishing keyboard technique and unlimited powers of invention, ably supported by Owston and Hughes. A fitting climax to a fabulous first set.

‘I Mean You’ opened the second set with echoes of Thelonious Monk’s fruitful pairing with Art Blakey in the early 1950s. It’s a fascinating piece. Owston held a steady beat on his bass while Baranek and Hughes freely exchanged ideas as they navigated the twists and turns of Monk’s theme. By all accounts, Monk was a man of few words, but I think this number would have received his nod of approval.

Bass player Gavin Barras, for whom James Owston was depping, penned ‘Disinformation’. The only covert message I could detect, instructed me to sit back and enjoy this exercise in gentle swing, especially the virtuosic playing, bowed and pizzicato, of James Owston. No harm done there.

Listening to ‘Shooting from the Hip’ was rather like opening a box of Turkish Delight, there were so many treats to enjoy – James Owston’s expressive introduction, Baranek’s funky improvisations and the barely perceptible sound of Hughes’ bass drum as it set the pulse – pure magic! What’s more, Gaz Hughes commented that unlike some audiences on the tour, those at Progress avoided the trap set by the false ending and didn’t clap until the tune had properly ended.

Andrzej Baranek’s tour de force excursion on Put on a Happy Face’, a hit song from the 1960 musical ‘Bye Bye Birdie’, did exactly that. One could sense smiles growing wider and wider as he became ever more expansive at the keyboard.

One quickly became immersed in the intense Afro-Cuban rhythms of ‘White Noise’ and yet for all its joyful expression, there seemed to be a tinge of melancholy lurking in its depths which particularly touched me.

As we moved towards the finale, the trio segued two numbers together, ‘Body and Soul’ and ‘Straight No Chaser’, before launching into a reworking of Victor Feldman’s ‘Seven Steps to Heaven’. ‘I should warn you,’ Hughes admitted, as he interrupted an introductory roll on his floor tom-tom, ‘This number includes a fifteen-minute drum solo.’ He was kidding; it only lasted five!

In truth it was even shorter, but what a tasteful and musical drummer he is and what a fantastic group he leads. We wish the ‘Nuclear Bebopalypse’ tour every success as it continues to make its way across the UK

We offer our thanks as ever to the Progress Theatre House Team for their hospitality.

Composer credits for the numbers featured in the concert are as follows:

Andrzej Baranek:   AB’s Blues, Bebopalypse              

Oscar Moore/Nat King Cole: Beautiful Moons Ago            

Duke Ellington /Billy Strayhorn: Satin Doll                        

George Shearing: Lullaby of Broadway        

Sammy Fain: Alice in Wonderland               

Thelonious Monk: I Mean You, Straight No Chaser    

Gavin Barras: Disinformation                       

Gaz Hughes:  Beboptical Illusion, Shooting from the Hip, White Noise     

Lee Adams/Chales Strouse: Put on a Happy Face        

Johnny Green: Body and Soul                       

Victor Feldman: Seven Steps to Heaven        

Logo  Jazz in Reading  


Friday 19 July                                         

Thames Traditional Boat Festival, Fawley Meadows

Henley-on-Thames 6.15pm Riverside Stage 

The Thames Traditional Boat Festival is the world’s largest gathering of vintage river craft. Remembering D-Day’s 80th anniversary with a flotilla of the original Dunkirk little ships all perfectly restored. Spitfire, Hurricane, Lancaster and bi-plane flypast. Festival stalls galore, street food and a Pop up Crooked Billet Stoke Row bar, canteen and live music stage.

Legendary Henley Musician Art Themen (right) will open this year’s Trad Festival on the riverside, Henley-on-Thames, Friday 19th July.

Art’s Jazz and Blues Quintet take to the Riverside Stage 6.15pm; kicking off a weekend of incredible musicians and evening entertainment.

Art Themen’s illuminate presence on the world jazz circuit for over 40 years. He toured the globe fronting Stan Tracey’s quartet and played alongside all the British and American legends. A friend and regular at Ronnie Scott’s club (Art even acquired Ronnie Scott’s sax).

Originally a blues saxophonist back in 1966 with Alexis Korner, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker (before Eric Clapton joined when the band became CREAM). Outside the jazz world, he’s worked with fellow Henley Beatle George Harrison, Mick Jagger, Chuck Berry, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart and even Bing Crosby.

Artists; Art Themen, Buddy King, Rob Berry, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Mickey Gallagher (Animals, Clash, Blockheads) Ding Dong Daddios.

Live Jazz Progress Theatre, Reading, 12th July


preview by Jazz In Reading

Ewen Baird tenor saxophone

Martin Pickett piano

Steve Kershaw double bass

Mike Goff drums

Siân Goff & Tom Neill narrators

You’ve heard the original Radio Drama and seen the Play – now experience the Musical!, from the players shown left.

OK, not exactly a musical – but read on…

In 1965, inspired by Dylan Thomas’ masterpiece, renowned pianist and composer Stan Tracey, ‘the godfather of British jazz’, composed Jazz Suite: Under Milk Wood.  It is a beautifully constructed set of eight tunes, each with an unmistakably individual character, including the acknowledged genius of the tone-poem Starless and Bible Black.

Jazz in Reading – in collaboration with Progress Theatre – has arranged a performance of the work: Stan Tracey’s music interwoven with Dylan Thomas’ words.

This is a rare opportunity to experience two musical and literary masterworks at their uplifting and life-affirming best.

“A friend of mine has attended every presentation of this performance to date having attended the previous five at Goring, Oxford, Marlow, Bracknell and Reading. He finds new treasures to enjoy on each occasion. So will you. This is not to be missed.” – Trevor Bannister

Jazz On Air

HOT BISCUITS served up by Steve Bewick

Next week, on HOT BISCUITS, I take a peek into the Kidderminster Jazz Club, highlighting some of the bands that have recently appeared there, including, The Dean Stockdale Quartet, The Hopkins-Hammond Trio, Jim Mullen with Claire Martin and one fromthe club´s own own, Annette GS Gregory. Also in the broadcast is, Louis Armstrong, John Cephas & Phil Wiggins (RIP), Superlocrian, Andrew McCormack, David Sanborn (RIP) and closing the show will be Mark Lockheart, appropriately playing ‘Wrap me up’. If this piques your interesting then share it and listen in anytime, day, or night, and the PASS IT ON whenever you wish.

Live Music


previewed by newsletter

MMF Welcomes Young Artists Class of 2024!

The Manchester Music Festival (MMF) Young Artists Program is a full scholarship, five-week intensive chamber music festival for string players and pianists, ages 18-26. Young Artists receive coaching sessions from a faculty composed of world-renowned artists in preparation for public performances of full chamber works throughout the festival. The primary focus of the Young Artists Program is to intensively study and perform chamber music at a high level, and to benefit from the outstanding musical guidance that the illustrious artist faculty offers on a daily basis. See what’s in store this season for our Young Artists!

A Reader´s Perspective:All Points Forward

BEN GLOVER-Singer Songwriter

An introduction from Peter Pearson

Americana singer-songwriter Ben Glover (right) hails from Glenarm, Northern Ireland and is not to be confused with the Christian Rock songwriter – Benjamin Allen Glover who was born and raised in Nashville.

Since moving to Nashville in 2009 Glover has released several fine albums in the Americana genre and collaborated on song writing projects with the likes of Gretchen Peters, Mary Gauthier and Kim Richey. His side project is the Nashville song writing collective – The Orphan Brigade. In addition to recording and touring, The Orphan Brigade frequently feature on other artists albums. They feature prominently on Amy Speace’s “Tucson” and “There Used To Be Horses Here”.

Ben Glover, now 45, started his musical career playing gigs in the local pubs at the age of 13. Whilst he played Irish music, he also slipped in songs from Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and other country music artists, favourites of his parents.

In the summers of his university years, Glover paid his way to the States by performing Irish folk ballads along with the songs of Christy Moore and The Pogues in the bars in Boston, whilst back home in the pubs of Ireland he began singing Dylan and Springsteen.

Learning to play guitar and writing songs came hand in hand, though he says that it was not until he was 20 that he wrote a song that he would still be proud to play today.

Glover first came to my attention when he opened for Gretchen Peters at the Lowry UK in 2015. He had been co-writing with Peters in Nashville and the songs featured on each others albums. I was impressed both with the songs and his stage presentation and resolved to explore his catalogue.

After frequent sojourns to the States and several albums that had flown under the radar, Glover relocated to Nashville in 2009. There he began exploring the locations that were closely associated with the music he grew up listening to – Hank Williams’ tombstone in Montgomery, Alabama; Johnny Cash’s childhood home in Dyess, Arkansas; Robert Johnson’s grave in Greenwood, Mississippi.

His 2014 album “Atlantic” aimed to bridge the gap between his two homes, the North of Ireland where he was born and the southern states of the USA, where he was now living. Released to extensive critical acclaim it features two tracks co-written with Gretchen Peters – “Blackbird´s”, also the title track of her album and the melodic “The Mississipi Turns Blue”, together with co-writes with respected Americana artists, Mary Gauthier and Rod Picot.

His 2016 album “The Emigrant” continues the theme of immigration and the challenges it brings. His self-written “Song Of Home” is one of the stand out tracks, along with the title track and his co-write with Mary Gauthier “Heart in my Hand”.

In 2018 he toured the UK with Mary Gauthier and released his album “Shorebound” featuring another co-write with Gretchen Peters, “Dancing with the Beast”. The song was also the title track of her 2018 album.

In addition to his solo work Glover is a founder member of the collective of Nashville singer songwriters called The Orphan Brigade. The name is based on a Kentucky Confederate unit.

Ben Glover, Neilson Hubbard and Joshua Britt wrote, recorded and filmed their first album, “Soundtrack To A Ghost Story”, in a haunted, Civil War house, Octagon Hall, in Kentucky. Originally they assumed this was a one-off project but after touring Italy in 2016 this side project evolved into a recording and touring band, co-opting other songwriters along the way.

In 2017 they spent time in 2500-year-old-caves in the Italian city of Osimo, writing and recording Heart Of The Cave. No Depression called it an extraordinary album in which the songs explored themes of mysticism and personal transformation.

Over the years the band have augmented their numbers with guests musicians including, John Prine, Gretchen Peters, Kim Richey, Will Kimbrough and Eamon McLoughlin (the fiddle player who inspired Guy Clark’s song,”Eamon”).

In 2019 they released their album, “To The Edge Of The World”. The album was written and recorded on the Antrim Coast of Ireland. John Prine features on one of the standout tracks, “Captains Song” (Sorley Boy) the song of a local chieftain.

This review comment sums up how the album was received: “To the Edge of the World” is simply wonderful. Cleverly retelling old tales and folk myths in a heady brew of Americana/Folk music, the Orphan Brigade have created something really special. From the rock and roll flavour of the stunning “Mad Man’s Window” to the lovely reprise of “To the Edge of the World” sung by the pupils of Seaview Primary School, the sonic beauty is simply captivating in its heart-warming simplicity. The sparse and minimal mixing allow the mandolin to ring out alongside acoustic guitar and soaring harmonies to enhance the highest quality songwriting”.

Glover’s latest album, the recently released, “And The Sun Breaks Through The Sky”, is in my opinion, his finest.

“Arguing with Ghosts” is a co-write with Matraca Berg and Gretchen Peters. Beautifully performed by Gretchen Peters on her “Dancing with The Beast” album, Glover gives an equally compelling but a more dramatic and powerful performance here. “The Meadow”, one of two co-written with Mary Gauthier is another standout track featuring acoustic guitar and piano. There are co-writes with Kim Richey and a number of his own compositions. The estimable guitarist Will Kimbrough leads a stellar cast of backing musicians.

His “Shorebound” album won the 2019 UK Americana Awards. His latest album must surely be a strong contender for this year.

Island Insights


by Norman Warwick

The timing of accessing certain events on the island is made more difficult because of the range of time and distance between various parts of the event itself.  This is the case, particularly with San Luis Gonzaga, an event celebrating the patron saint of Las Breñas in the highest part of the town and the hills above.

This year, for instance, we had learned that the ceremony would involve a mass in honour of San Luis Gonzaga, street players to entertain spectators who remained at the church whilst the procession carried the statue around the town and into the hills above.

As we had once joined the procession when Femes celebrated its saint was freezing cold, virtually perpendicular and blistering on the heels, tonight we thought we would sit outside the church and listen to the folklore bands playing.  This was a colourful scene with ladies and gentlemen in local costume and guitars and timples being played with enough gusto to encourage the girls to dance.

We heard several familiar tunes as we sat on the church wall looking two kilometres down to the sea.

Children were running around the mobile food facility for their chips and crepes. Down behind the street players was a huge tent set up with tables and chairs and a large dance floor for entertainment later in the evening.

We have enjoyed many such nights as these and been made welcome by Spanish people we don´t know on every occasion so our plan tonight was not to follow the opening procession, nor to attend the after-event social dancing. We were here instead to attend a short showcase concert by Yaiza Ladies Choir, and to be honest we timed it all pretty well.

Or so we thought!

We arrived at the right time but all car parking spaces within a square kilometre were taken so we had to crawl up the hills beyond the town.  Eventually we saw just enough space to park our car at the side of the road and set off walking down the hills a lot more quickly than we had driven up them.  I took my seat on the church wall as Dee went to take photographs.  She looked in at the church and saw the mass was still taking place and that the statue had not been removed from its plinth.  Eventually after we had enjoyed listening to the street musicians the procession began from the church and people set off following round the town.

We listened to a lot of songs that we now know and enjoy and think of in the same way as we do of the important songs in our English culture.

The advertised fireworks that signalled the departure of the procession were simply loud explosives and they later signalled the return.

All that remained was for the statue to be returned to its normal position, and that would allow the ladies of Yaiza Choir to perform and we knew this would be a treat for us because the choir contained three of the yoginis, who stared in our adventure at the Ghost Hotel last week.

The ladies all looked very elegant in black and pulled off the clever trick of celebrating with due solemnity.  Their choice of material was perfect, their delivery of harmony was exquisite and they communicated their enjoyment of performing to their audience.  Nuvi Tavio has brought the choir a long way in her years as the Musical Director. 

It now has it seems, a larger membership than we have seen in recent appearances and certainly a greater range of sound and a very evident confidence. The programme consisted of mainly secular music with the highlight, among many, being an exquisite delivery of Gabriel Faure´s Pie Jesu, to which Andrew Lloyd Weber added modern lyrics some forty years ago.

So, we said goodbye to our friends and climbed back up the hill and drove down around the church and the street players and the dance tents and down to the LZ2 and headed home accompanied by an (allegedly) strawberry moon bob bob bobbing from mountain top to mountain top and out over the sea.

I was particularly happy by now as I was going to be home in time to see the evening´s European Championship match. However, this dual nationality we try to adhere to could be severely tested if England should play Spain in the later rounds.

It will be another busy week of searching sidetracks & detours as our team of intrepid reporters  set over America and into Nova Scotia to find the best examples of the familial harmony content we have been speaking of recently. The staff have already cited examples of their own, other media outlets have pointed us towards Willie and The Boys and I have asked the staff to seek out The Rankin Family for your delight. We will also be asking if it is still true, even today, folk rocks. We then have an appointment in the UK to view a theatre property that might be just about  to become an agent of change for its community, in an area that might be familiar to our Americana correspondent, Peter Pearson. We will celebrate the end of the week, hopefully by discussing the impact thirty years on from the release of Definitely Maybe by that Manchester Band and we will then return to out Lanzarote office with a handful of books we picked up in  a shady deal at midnight at The Oasis, and these tomes will be placed on our bigger bookshelf. All you have to do to gain access to these new items and almost 1,200 free to read items is to tap in the link at the foot of this paragraph to your favourite search engine. There you will find easy to navigate routes around the sidetracks & detours and along the happy trails to where truth lies. Let´s hope we bump into each other someday soon, somewhere around the corner.


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