Is it my imagination or does sunny weather attract sunny jazz? That certainly seems to be the case this week.
First up tomorrow evening in the Sounds in the Round programme at the MAC Arena are Jazz Jamaica doing their Tamla Motown thing.
Gary Crosby's enduring group changes size and subtly alters the direction with each new project, but the strong basics of jazz arrangements and soloing over a reggae beat remain the same.
Dancing in the Street, What's Going On, Just My Imagination and many more Motorcity favourites will have the crowd singing along through the Cannon Hill sunset, as players like Soweto Kinch on saxophone and Abram Wilson on trumpet and vocals provide the impetus.
Jazz Jamaica's Motorcity Roots is at MAC's Arena from 7pm, tickets are £14 and you can book on 0121 440 3838 or at macarts.co.uk
On Saturday the action switches to The Drum and the awardwinning saxophonist and composer Tony Kofi.
His latest band apparently has its inspiration eight years ago when Kofi witnessed a performance by the Lou Donaldson & Dr Lonnie Smith Group.
The combination of saxophone and the mighty Hammond B3 organ (in case you were wondering, there is a rule in the jazz journalist's book of cliches that insists the words "the mighty" should always be used before any reference to this instrument) just blew Kofi away.
So, when the saxophonist met Anders Olinder in 2001 and saw how he approached the B3 with the same feeling, the future was clear and Kofi's new disc, Future Passed, is the result (review on this page).
Tony Kofi is touring the UK with Anders Olinder and drummer Winston Clifford throughout 2006 and arrives in Birmingham on this weekend.
It starts at 9pm, tickets are £16 in advance or £20 on the door, so it's a good idea to book on 0121 333 2400 . More on the-drum.org.uk
On Sunday the Glee Club is the place to be for two excellent bands from the F-ire stable.
There are common players here - saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock (pictured), drummer Sebastian Rochford and cellist Ben Davis, but the music played by the Ingrid Laubrock Quintet and Oriole is subtly different.
Oriole is the brainchild of guitarist Jonny Phillips and he has referred to it as "magic realism" in music.
The combination of his Spanish guitar style with the harmonised lines of saxophone and cello over a buoyant percussion cushion is strongly evocative - gentle and pastoral. Their second album, Migration, is just out (review on this page).
Laubrock's band leaves a lot more freedom to the players, though the rhythms again have that exotic feel, the fruit of the saxophonist's extensive understanding of Brazilian music, courtesy of her work with singer Monica Vasconcelos in their band Nois.
Two excellent bands, then, in the excellent acoustics and relaxed atmosphere of the Glee Club. If you've never tried jazz in this venue, do it now, and delay those Monday thoughts for that extra few hours.
Birmingham Jazz presents the Ingrid Laubrock Quintet and Jonny Phillips' Oriole at 8pm, tickets £9 (£8 online at www.glee.co.uk) or £6 for Birmingham Jazz members/concessions.
Finally, if you are down Warwickshire way on Sunday evening, check out The White Swan in Rother St, Stratfordupon-Avon, where Stratford Jazz put on a fine programme.
This week it's the Ben Waghorn Quartet. This young multi-reed player from Bristol is joined by Jim Blomfield on piano, Riaan Vosloo on bass and Andy Hague on drums.
The fun starts at 8pm, call Roy Stevens 01789 298607 for tickets.
There's more info on www.stratfordjazz.org.uk
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