There were a few years when the Brecon Jazz Festival, which takes over this small Welsh town for a weekend, seemed to have lost its lustre.
Not so in 2005 - there are temptations in this year's programme that not only exceed the budget but also threaten the overdraft limit.
Musical director Jim Smith has pulled out some strands which run through the weekend. These include, naturally, in the 50th anniversary of his death, tributes to the music of Charlie Parker, a few gigs featuring big bands, and a whole lot of concerts celebrating the increasing vigour of European jazz.
So, let's take this side of the Atlantic first.
It's no secret that Scandinavia is a hotbed of fresh jazz talent and Brecon has its two finest piano trios showing subtly contrasting approaches.
While both the Esbjorn Svensson and Tord Gustavsen bands concentrate on original material and three-way interplay, the results are strikingly distinctive. EST are increasingly plugged in, with bassist Dan Berglund getting at times an almost horn-like sound from combining the bow and a wah-wah pedal, while both pianist Svensson and drummer Magnus Ostrom use electronics in subtle ways to expand their musical palette.
While EST have grown to expand bigger venues and, with their integral light show, are increasingly tapping into the alt.rock market, Norwegians Tord Gustavsen ( piano), Harald Johnsen (bass) and Jarle Vespestad (drums) like to shrink the space by playing in intimate settings and, if they can, with not even a microphone on the instruments.
Gustavsen may share with Svensson and interest in pop music as a model for compositions which always have strong and accessible structures and melodies you can whistle, but he also has a deeper gospel-tinged feel as well as a quiet Latin touch.
And you will never have heard a drummer who can be so exciting and so quiet at the same time.
For the rest of its European strand, Brecon looks to this island, with a line-up which includes Django Bates's Human Chain, solo pianists Matthew Bourne and Gareth Williams, the Scottish sound of the Colin Steele Quintet with the excellent Dave Milligan on piano, Billy Jenkins' Blues Collective, Martin Speake's Constellation, Tommy Scott's Future Positive, Tomorrow's Warriors, Jazz Jamaica, singers Ian Shaw, Lucie Silvas, Soweto Kinch, Peter King, Acoustic Triangle, Back Door, Byron Wallen, Jools Holland and Georgie Fame.
In past years that might look like taking the cheaper option at the expense of quality. Today, the Americans need to earn their places among this rich and varied bunch.
And, of course, there are some exceptional American musicians flying in and taking that long busride to Brecon.
Just look at some of the line-up in the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Alumni Big Band. They all played with Dizzy and they make a fearsomely talented band now: James Moody and Jimmy Heath on tenors, Frank Wess and Antonio Hart on altos, Randy Brecker and Claudio Roditi on trumpets.
Add to them the special guests, trumpeter Roy Hargrove and multireedsman Paguito D'Rivera and it will be surprising if the quaint Brecon Market Hall roof remains intact.
Hargrove and D'Rivera are also leading their own bands at other gigs during the festival.
Other transatlantics include Phil Woods, John Faddis, Rachel Z and Scott Hamilton.
Finally, a top tip for those who want to know about jazz's cutting edge. If you get along to the Stroller events featuring the Rudresh Mahanthappa Quartet, you can hear one of the strongest new players on the New York jazz scene. He is pianist Vijay Iyer. His recordings get rave reviews from the critics both in the US and here, and this is, I think, the first time he will be playing in Britain outside of London.
Brecon Jazz 2005 runs from Friday to Sunday, August 12-14, and as well as individual tickets to the concerts, the Brecon Stroller passes are also available which gives you entrance to a variety of events (the stroller tickets admit a child under 14 with each adult, so are a much more economically viable way of introducing the family to jazz).
For more information or to book tickets call 01874 611622 or go to www.breconjazz.co.uk
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