A happy consequence of the “big split” between Birmingham Jazz staff and directors earlier in the year is that there is now even more on offer for jazz fans.
Jazzlines, the new organisation masterminded by former BJ staffers Tony Dudley Evans and Mary Wakelam as part of Town Hall Symphony Hall, has some stellar names to tempt us, with autumn concerts by the Wayne Shorter Quartet (Town Hall, Nov 1), the Jack DeJohnette Quintet (Adrian Boult Hall, Nov 20), and The Impossible Gentlemen (CBSO Centre, Dec 1).
For the more adventurous the remarkable Norwegian improv ensemble Supersilent teams up with Led Zep’s John Paul Jones (Town Hall, Nov 14) while fans of jazz singing will find much to delight in a double bill of Claire Martin and Sara Colman (CBSO Centre, Oct 12). There is more about all these gigs and many more at www.jazzlines.co.uk
Meanwhile, Birmingham Jazz has an excellent programme running through into next year, based around more intimate pub venues.
Among the highlights are saxophonist Gilad Atzmon’s Power Cats, which includes Hammond ace Ross Stanley (Barton Arms, Sep 23), Christine Tobin singing Leonard Cohen and others, with Phil Robson and Dave Whitford (Red Lion, Oct 7), the John Law Trio, including bassist Yuri Goloubev (Red Lion, Oct 28) and the Great Wee Band , including guitarist Jim Mullen and trumpeter Henry Lowther (Red Lion, Nov 11).
More about these and BJ’s Friday evening free-to-members “club” gigs at www.birminghamjazz.co.uk
And so to this week’s recommendations...
Tomorrow: TG Collective main man Sam Slater presents his gipsy jazz style in stripped down quartet format with Lluis Mather on clarinet, Percy Pursglove on trumpet and Nick Jurd on double bass. He calls it Sam Slater’s Nearly Hot Club Four, so maybe we can expect some Django Renhardt tunes, and the band is playing for free in Oozells Square, BrindleyPlace, from 5.30pm. More at www.jazzlines.co.uk
And why not continue the guitar theme, and move on to the Ort Cafe in Balsall Heath where the Antonio Feula Quartet will be on the stand. Fuela is on guitar with David Austin Grey on keys, Ashley Trigg on bass and Ric Yarborough on drums, and the music is likely to show influences from John Scofield, Pat Metheny and Mike Stern. There is support from groove-improv band Zeitgeist. Music from 9pm, donations encouraged. More at www.blambirmingham.co.uk
Sunday: The Stratford Jazz programme resumes after its summer holiday and first up is a quintet led by trumpeter Ray Butcher. Ray , who programmes the regular Thursday evening sessions at The Yardbird in Paradise Place, will be joined by Casey Greene on saxophone, Andre Bassing on piano, Mike Green on bass and Mils Levin on drums. The music starts around 8pm at No.1 Shakespeare Street and entry is £8 on the door. More at www.stratfordjazz.org.uk
Tuesday: Jazz at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth presents the Nick Rundle Trio - Nick on tenor saxophone, Nick Jurd on double bass and Jim Bashford on drums. The saxophone trio is a daring format and leaves lots of room for exposure, but Rundle has the chops and the knowledge to pull it off with aplomb. The music starts at 9pm, and again donations are encouraged to help fund the players.