It's a busy, busy week. First off, there's a historic event - Thelonious Monk's Town Hall concert in New York in 1959, being not so much recreated as celebrated in music and images.

The man behind this project is that most Monkish of contemporary jazz pianists Jason Moran, and he has his American trio musicians, Tarus Mateen on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums, as well as the cream of British horn players to help him.

Saxophonists are Jason Yarde and Denys Baptiste, Byron Wallen is on trumpet, Fayez Virji on trombone and Andy Grappy on tuba.

The pianist last seen here in Dave Holland's band and at Cheltenham with Charles Lloyd has created a multi-media extended suite of new, original music inspired by the extraordinary recording of Thelonious Monk's The Town Hall Concert.

It will incorporate samples of music, conversations and photos of Monk from the vast archives of W. Eugene Smith, but while In My Mind is a celebration of Monk, it is also a very personal statement from Moran himself.

In My Mind - Monk At Town Hall 1959 is at the CBSO Centre at 8pm on Friday. Tickets are £13 from 0121 7674050 or go to

* It's festival time both north and south of the city, with Gumbles Jazz Club going great guns all week up in Stafford and the Coventry Jazz Festival packing a lot into the long weekend.

Gumbles is celebrating its 21st birthday by putting on the Jazz Icons Festival, seven concerts in seven days.

Tonight it's the Snake Davis Band at Stafford Rangers Football Club at 8pm and tickets are £10.

Tomorrow to Friday the venue is The Surgery in Crabbe St, respectively, Fred "Thelonious" Baker, Gilad Atzmon, Chris Gumbley's jam session and the Dan Nicholls Quartet.

On Saturday it's back to the football club for Parliamentary Jazz Awards Musician of the Year Liane Carroll, and on Sunday there is a lunchtime hangover session at The Surgery with Passion Dance.

Tickets are on the door for all events, though Davis and Carroll are likely to have quite a bit of advance booking. You can find out more from Gumbles Jazz Club's myspace site.

* Coventry Jazz Festival starts on Thursday and has big names as follows:

Thursday - Hugh Masekela at the Belgrade Theatre, and the Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra at the Warwick Arts Centre.

Friday - the BBC Big Band with Liane Carroll and Alan Barnes at the Belgrade, Tom Cawley's Curios at the WAC and the Bryan Corbett Quartet and friends late night in the Belgrade B2.

Saturday - Phil Robson's Six Strings and the Beat are at the Belgrade B2, John Surman and Howard Moody are in Coventry Cathedral, Jazz Jamaica Tighten Up at the Belgrade, while Led Bib and Troyka more than fill Taylor John's House. Coventry Jazz favourites the Annie Whitehead Experience provide the late night B2 fun.

Sunday features the Randy Brecker Electric Band and Empirical at the Belgrade while the oud/guitar duo of Dhafer Youssef and Wolfgang Muthspiel are at St Mary's Guildhall.

Monday has a free gig for classy tribute band fans of Steely Dan (Nearly Dan) and the Pat Metheny Group (The Mephony Group) while John Etheridge's fabulous Zappatistas round it all off at the Warwick Arts Centre.

Visit or call the Belgrade on 024 7655 3055.

If you have any news or views you'd like to share, email me at The blog is at