* Of the many excellent jazz musicians to have come out of the West Midlands scene in the last decade or so, one of the most interesting and talented is, to my ears, Shabaka Hutchings.
He’s come an awfully long way from the young tenor saxophonist we once saw in the Walsall Jazz Orchestra, and his latest project is Sons Of Kemet.
The band - a quartet of clarinet/saxophone, tuba and two drummers - is at The Hare & Hounds on Wednesday, courtesy of Jazzlines.Hutchings has been more often heard on clarinet these days and is one of the prime movers in rehabilitating this instrument in modern jazz, but this band features quite a bit of his tenor saxophone playing.
His writing is an equally innovative reworking of elements of all kinds of jazz with an expanded palette that takes in minimalism, reggae and funk, and is becoming increasingly more rooted in the earthy origins of the music in Africa.
Also in Sons Of Kemet are Oren Marshall, Tom Skinner and Sebastian Rochford, so there are four really good reasons to get along to this one.
Hearing Oren Marshall recently with the John Taylor band down at Chelltenham was a reminder of just how good he is, and just how invigorating and cheerful the big bass brass instrument is.
In support of Shabaka and the Sons is the excellent homegrown Greyish Quartet (their CD is reviewed elsewhere in this paper), with David Austin Grey leading from the keyboard, Sam Wooster on trumpet, Nick Jurd on bass and James Bashford on drums. The music starts at 8.30pm, tickets are £5 and are available on the door. The Hare & Hounds is in the High Street in Kings Heath. More information at www.jazzlines.co.uk
* The new version of the old Birmingham Jazz gets into gear tomorrow night with a gig at the Barton Arms in Aston.
The singer and guitarist Sarah Gillespie will be on stage with saxophonist collaborator Gilad Atzmon for a selection of Sarah’s songs, including her sharp, surreal, satiric War On Trevor, concerning a hapless individual on the streets of London.
The gig starts at 7.45pm, tickets are £10 (£8 for members) on the door, and there will be real ale to drink and food to eat.
* If you missed Geoff Eales’ Isorhythm band at the Rush Hour Blues session last Friday, fear not - they are at No 1 Shakespeare Street in Stratford on Sunday evening, courtesy of Stratford Jazz.
The music starts at 8pm, tickets are £10 and you can find out more at www.stratfordjazz.org.uk
* Other gigs this week...
Tonight: Vibes player Julian Powell is at Bearwood Corks Club. Tickets £4 and the music starts at 9pm. More at www.bearwoodjazz.co.uk
Tonight: Daniele Martini, Dom Lash and Mark Sanders at the Ort Cafe in Moseley, free entry and starts at 8.30pm. More at www.ortcafe.co.uk
Tuesday: Jay Phelps/Colin Somvervell Quartet at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth. Collection taken and it start at 8.30pm. More at www.cobwebcollective.com