The autumn jazz season gets underway this week with two very exciting gigs – one featuring a crack New York band that has British links and the other featuring some of the freshest music to come out of London in a while.
And that’s before we get on to a Russian-born jazz fusionist and one of the gutsiest singers in the business.
I date order, then:
Tomorrow at the CBSO Centre the former Empirical pianist and recent graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, John Escreet, returns from that fab island to this with some important new friends.
They include the alto saxophonist David Binney, who has wowed audiences here before with his street-sharp style, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey, who is a member of the trio Fieldwork with pianist Vijay Iyer.
So, the finest downtown New York has to offer led by a man who cut his jazz teeth with the Doncaster Youth Jazz Association and has since played with Julian Siegel, Gerard Presencer, Denys Baptiste among others, before studying with Jason Moran and Kenny Barron at the Manhattan school and playing with Seamus Blake and Wayne Krantz.
The John Escreet Group with David Binney are at the CBSO Centre tomorrow at 8p. Tickets are £12 from 0121 767 4050 or at thsh.co.uk – this is a Birmingham Jazz gig.
On Saturday the venue switches to the Polish Club, just a stone’s throw from Selfridges, and leading a fine band is saxophonist/flautist Finn Peters.
Finn, part of the F-Ire Collective, won a 2007 BBC Jazz Award for best band after his first album, Su-Ling.
His latest, called Butterflies, continues the fascination he has for things Far Eastern.
His band, the Finntet, features David Okumu on guitar, Nick Ramm on keyboards, the Toms, Herbert and Skinner, on bass and drums, and Mathew Yee King on computers.
Good music, good beer and, if you get there really early, a good Polish supper downstairs.
Finn Peters and Finntet are at the Polish Club on Saturday from 8pm, tickets are £9 and available online by following the link at birminghamjazz.co.uk or on the door. This is also a Birmingham Jazz gig.
Also on Saturday, this time out at Lichfield’s Guildhall, singer and pianist Liane Carroll shows that jazz singing doesn’t have to be all cool and soft-focus.
She swings hard, sings out loud and strong and is also one of the funniest people around. Roger Carey is on bass and Mark Fletcher on drums.
This Lichfield Arts gig starts at 8pm, tickets are £13 and available from 01543 262223 or online at lichfieldarts.org.uk
On Sunday the Live Box continues its strong autumn run with Zhenya Stragalev’s Cherry Grand Moth.
Zhenya is a Russian-born alto saxophonist who has played with the Cinematic Orchestra and with David Okumu and Seb Rochford. Here he leads his own band, bringing a good dose of funk into the accomplished jazz fusion mix.
The Live Box is at the studio at The Drum, doors open at 7.45pm, entrance is £5 and you can find out more at the-drum.org.uk
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