THURSDAY: Good vibes on the bill at the Bearwood Corks Club sessions, hosted by Andy Hamilton.
Playing them will be Julian Powell who leads the Julian Powell Collective, a group of young musicians playing a mix of Latin, fusion and jazz with compulsive rhythms and a fine sense of what makes for a good groove.
The doors open at 8.30pm, entry is £4 and the club is just opposite Aldi in Bearwood Road, Bearwood. More information at www.bearwoodjazz.co.uk
FRIDAY: An early evening session at City Inn in Brindleyplace will feature bassist Mike Hatton and his MJHQ band. Tim Amann from Andy Hamilton’s Blue Notes and Walsall Jazz Orchestra is on piano, Sam Rogers, who also plays with WJO, is on saxophone, guitarist is Tom Robins and Andy Wheeler is on drums. For this gig they have Sarah Winton as guest vocalist. The music starts at 5.30pm, goes till 7pm, and it’s all free. All you need to do is buy a drink.
SUNDAY is “bone time” in Stratford as the exuberant and explosive Andy Derrick leads on the trombone with MYJO pianist Jo Ruddick on the keys, and the dream rhythm team of Ben Markland on bass and Neil Bullock on drums. Andy brings a real spice to the big slide horn and the band can get seriously funky while maintaining that jazz swing.
It all happens at The Chapel, No 1 Shakespeare Street in Stratford-upon-Avon from 8pm, and entry is £6. Find out more at www.stratfordjazz.org.uk
In between all this live action, I suggest you spend some time planning your autumn and winter months with a little help from Birmingham Jazz.
The organisation has just released its programme running through till January and there are some very exciting gigs in there.
The major celebration has to be the 70th birthday of drummer Tony Levin, a legend for a long time now and always loyal to Birmingham.
The gig will feature two of Tony’s bands, his long-standing Mujician combo with Keith Tippet on piano, Paul Dunmall on reeds and Paul Rogers on bass, and a trio comprising Tony, Japanese pianist Aki Takase and bassist John Edwards.
Tony Levin at 70 is on Saturday, October 9, at the Mac in Edgbaston.
Also at the Mac, and an event I am particularly intrigued by, is the Flat Earth Society’s silent film project on Saturday, October 2.
This Belgian big band, led by saxophonist Peter Vermeersch, has been going for over a decade now and combines the adventurousness of the Orchestre National de Jazz from France with the madness of the New Jungle Orchestra from Denmark.
We don’t get many chances to hear a group as large as this – it numbers 15 – and certainly not playing a live accompaniment to a film as weird and funny as Ernst Lubitsch’s 1919 extravaganza, The Oyster Princess. In the intimacy of the Mac theatre it should be real blast.
You can book now for these gigs and all the other ones in Birmingham Jazz’s autumn programme at www.birminghamjazz.co.uk