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Stones backup band will be "Hot Stuff" in London gig

Mick Jagger (L) and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones perform on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury music festival at Worthy Farm in Somers
Mick Jagger (L) and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones perform on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury music festival at Worthy Farm in Somers

By Paul Casciato

LONDON (Reuters) - If you ever wondered what a Flamenco version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" might sound like, then hustle over to London's Lyric Theatre on Monday to see the musicians the Rolling Stones call on for back-up when they go on tour.

Backing musicians for the British band set to rock London's Hyde Park on Saturday will play their own separate gig at the Lyric, where they will bend classic Stones' tunes into arrangements steeped in jazz, blues, rock and Latin genres.

American saxophonist Tim Ries and some of the other artists who have played alongside Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for decades have been known to rope in Stones drummer Charlie Watts and some of world music's top names for hastily arranged jam sessions at local venues while they are out on tour.

"When we played in Toronto, Charlie (Watts) came and sat in with us," Ries told Reuters on Thursday. "Sometimes Keith and Ronnie come by and hang out."

Influential American jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette, leading jazz guitarist Bill Frisell and pianist Larry Goldings are some of the other greats of the music world who have popped in for the occasional sessions with Ries while he is on a Stones tour.

Monday's performance will also include Stones backing singer Bernard Fowler, former Allman Brothers pianist Chuck Leavell and bassist Darryl Jones, who has stood in for Bill Wyman since he left the Stones in 1993.

Ries has also produced, arranged and recorded world music versions of classic Stones tunes on two of his own albums alongside the band and musicians from around the world.

"We're all members of the Stones," Ries said.

He said he has been inspired watching Jagger and company, with an average age of 69, still performing with the energy of musicians less than half their age.

"This is the only band that has been here for this long and still playing, probably at the highest level they've ever played," he said.

The Rolling Stones will play sold-out concerts at Hyde Park in London on July 6 and 13th after a wildly acclaimed debut at the Glastonbury Festival last week.

Nostalgia has played a major part in the Rolling Stones's activities of the past year as they celebrated 50 years in the music business and embarked on a North American tour.

(Reporting by Paul Casciato; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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