In previous years the dog days of August would be heartily lightened by the Coventry Jazz Festival.
With that long weekend of great gigs now moved to late May, this week becomes a time for chilling out with the latest CD releases and making some plans for the next six months.
So, get out the diary and mark these dates: The really big one - get out the post-it notes and plaster them on the calendar now - comes at the beginning of Birmingham Jazz's autumn season: September 30, to be exact.
The CBSO Centre will play host on that date to the mighty Pharoah Sanders.
Sanders is best remembered as the second tenor saxophonist in the expanded band that John Coltrane formed in the latter years of the 1960s.
In fact, he was one of the main reasons I found the latter Coltrane discs such difficult listening.
There were times when it seemed Sanders had a deep-seated aversion to playing in the conventional range of the tenor saxophone, such were his screaming assaults on the higher end of human hearing.
Thankfully, Pharoah Sanders mellowed a little and my ears expanded. His 1970s discs, with their mixture of African percussion and Eastern philosophies, proved not only delightful listening at the time, but remain some of the freshest, earliest examples of what is now a dominant trend: world jazz.
Although he has continued to walk his own distinctive musical path ever since, with not only world music but also soul influences playing their role, his long list of 1980s discs were not easy to find until they were reissued by the Evidence label, and it was only in 1996, and in the marketing-friendly company of producer Bill Laswell, that Sanders appeared to make a big comeback for the jazz mainstream listener.
He had always had a strong following outside jazz: like Sun Ra, with whom he played early in his career, Sanders, a big man who chooses hair and beard styles to match the striking nature of his playing (especially so since his hair has turned white), has for some reason always appealed to the rock fans.
For this Birmingham gig - one of only three UK dates - he is accompanied by his US quartet: with William Henderson on piano, Nat Reeves on bass and Joe Farnsworth on drums. A gig to plan for - and sure to be one to remember. Booking is now open via the necgroup box office.
Other highlights in the Birmingham Jazz 05/06 programme, of which more in future weeks, include London's F-IRE Collective Large Ensemble on October 21, the Polish Tomasz Stanko Quartet on November 25, the John Taylor Trio on January 20 and an exciting special commission by Birmingham Jazz in collaboration with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group of a piece by trumpeter Dave Douglas for first performance on April 2.
* For more on all these gigs, go to www.birminghamjazz.co.uk