The New York drummer Bobby Previte has been a fairly regular visitor to these shores down the years. I remember first seeing him at the Custard Factory in the early 1990s leading a band of bright young jazz knights called Weather Clear, Track Fast.
Since then he has worked with Birmingham Conservatoire students on a project for the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, and recorded a live performance of his Joan Miro-inspired piece for jazz orchestra here. He is a remarkable player – driving yet tuneful, somehow ageless – and while his music is muscular and he sometimes explores the noisier end of the free jazz-rock interface, there is a romantic streak somewhere deep within.
Certainly he is an inspiration to the many young players he has helped along the way. The Art Blakey of his generation.
Ever innovative, he now returns with his Dialed In project, a collaboration with video-jockey and artist Benton-C Bainbridge.
Birmingham Jazz has always believed strongly in taking jazz to different audiences and is known for its imaginative collaborations with other musical organisations.
So it is no surprise that BJ is collaborating with Capsule and the Supersonic Festival to bring over this project from the States.
Dialed In will play on the second day of the festival – this Saturday – at the Custard Factory.
Bobby describes Dialed In as “a live audiovisual performance”.
“I trigger every sound live – no loops, no laptops, no overdubbing. VJ Benton-C paints with light, spilling off the screen and on to the performers. We each use obsolete and forgotten technology scavenged from the tech dump.”
According to the publicity, Benton-C warps video into strange shapes not seen since Electric Company while Previte whips sonic fragments into powerful songs.
Dialed In is on Saturday as part of the Supersonic Festival which runs from Friday to Sunday. It’s a one-ticket affair and you can find out everything else you need to know at capsule.org.uk/supersonic
* On Thursday the Henry Newman Quintet take the Bearwood Corks Club stage for the regular Andy Hamilton-hosted evening. Henry is stand-in pianist for Andy’s Blue Notes and the band will also include former Black Voices singer Janice Williamson. Doors open at 8.30pm and it’s £4 to get in. More at bearwood.co.uk
* The ever-resourceful and all-year-round Stratford Jazz has the Tim Collinson Quartet there on Sunday. With Tim on saxophone are Gianni Boscarino on piano, Ben Bastin on bass and Lester Bennet on drums. Expect a mix of jazz standards and originals from 8pm. It’s £6 to get in and you can find out more at stratfordjazz.org.uk
* Finally, news from pianist and composer Steve Tromans. He tells me he has been accepted to study for a PhD at Middlesex University, so for the next three years he will be, in his words, “researching performativity as it relates to the composer-performer, focusing on the dynamics of identity at work in the close-knit, closed ritual of the rehearsal”. We look forward to hearing Dr Tromans put all this theory into practice in the years to come...