The Cobweb Collective, a group of young Birmingham Conservatoire jazz course graduates who had decided to stay in the city and promote their music collectively, is no more.
But this doesn’t mean the energy of the young, local jazz scene is in any way diminished, for in its place we welcome, like a very noisy phoenix and with suitable exclamation, Blam!
Its core nine members are all former Cobwebs.
They say: “As individual musicians, the members of Blam! are all prominently involved in the performance of jazz locally, nationally and internationally and as a collective believe in the importance of a thriving music scene in their home city.”
They will be hosting sessions in four venues – The Spotted Dog, The Cross, Ort Cafe and The Lamp Tavern, promoting about ten gigs a month.
They are also dedicated to covering “the whole spectrum of jazz, from mainstream swing to free jazz”.
They add: “Blam! provides audiences and musicians with regular opportunities to listen to and interact with a diverse array of artists from Birmingham and beyond.
“Blam! isn’t only about promoting music, but also about creating music. There are plans to start a large ensemble and run composer sessions, as well as making some of the great music created in Birmingham available to everyone.”
So what do Blam!, who launched themselves at Ort Cafe last Friday, have in store for us over the next seven days?
Well, on Friday the Andy Bunting Trio is at Ort Cafe – that’s in Moseley Road, Balsall Heath (opposite Moseley Baths, in fact) – where they will be playing a mix of originals and standards from 8.30pm onwards.
Andy is on piano, Nick Jurd on bass and Jonathan Silk on drums. The band has developed admirable experience and cohesion from acting as the rhythm team for players such as saxophonists Mike Fletcher, Soweto Kinch and Chris Bowden, and have been the house band at the Old Joint Stock.
Entry to the Ort Cafe gig is free, though donations are welcome.
And talking of being a great support band to saxophonists, guess who joins tenor man and Young Scottish Jazz Musician Of The Year John Fleming at Blam!’s gig at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth on Tuesday?
Yep, it’s Bunting, Jurd and Silk.
The Tuesday evening sessions at The Spotted Dog have become something of a bright and regular beacon on the local jazz scene ever since Mike Fletcher got them going early last year, and they have featured not only local players but also touring bands from the rest of the UK.
The music starts just after 9pm and, here again, although entry is free, donations are encouraged.
The Spotted Dog is at 104 Warwick Street, or B13 0NH on your satnav.
* Find out more about these gigs and future ones, as well as the venues they use, at www.blambirmingham.co.uk