It’s a week of wide-ranging jazz in the Midlands, from wild and free to retro.
Tonight (Thursday) at The Yardbird we have the wild and free. Trio Riot met in Helsinki and comprise Mette Rasmussen on alto saxophone, Sam Andreae on tenor saxophone and David Meier on drums. They should suit the city streetwise crowd down to the ground with their edgy, free jazz and rock influenced music.
It starts at 9pm and entry is free. More at www.cobwebcollective.com
Tomorrow, former Birmingham Conservatoire student and 2010 BBC Scotland Young Jazz Musician Of The Year, saxophonist John Flemming brings his quartet back to Birmingham for a Rush Hour Blues session. The music starts at 5.30pm and runs till 7pm in the Symphony Hall foyer bar. Free entry. More at www.birminghamjazz.co.uk
On Sunday in Stratford-upon-Avon the amazing guitarist, composer and bandleader Nic Meier leads a trio for Stratford Jazz. Nic, who is from Switzerland but bases himself in London, has a highly original style, drawing influences not just from jazz but from Flamenco, Latin and Middle-Eastern music as well.
As well as playing a fairly regular guitar, he also plays something called the glissentar, which I suspect might be a guitar without frets. Yes, he’s a brave player.
On bass is Paolo Minvervini and on drums is Demi Garcia.
The Nic Meier Trio play from 8pm at No 1 Shakespeare Street, and tickets are £8 on the door. More at www.stratfordjazz.org.uk
Something a bit different on Monday evening. The Australian singer and bandleader C W Stoneking is now based in Bristol, which means we might get to hear a bit more of his extraordinary bellow of a voice, and his mainly brass band.
Described as “a composer of blues, hokum and jungle music”, Stoneking is in the strangely timeless troubadour tradition, and inhabits a Tom Waits meets Joseph Conrad world full of sailors in tricky situations, whether on shore leave or stuck up tropical rivers.
He plays all kinds of interesting stringed instruments, from resonator guitars to banjos, most of them as ancient as the musical world he favours.
If he has a band with him it is likely to be the Primitive Horn Orchestra, a brass band with tuba for bass.
CW Stoneking is playing at St John’s Church, near the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry, at 8pm. Find out more at www.cwstoneking.com
Finally, two dates to get in the diary are Thursday, November 24, and Sunday, November 27.
The former is a very special double bill of Australian piano trio The Necks and ambient keyboard maestro Harold Budd (see www.birminghamjazz.co.uk to book) and the latter is a special benefit gig for trumpeter Bryan Corbett who is unwell and needs urgent surgery (see the line-up at www.stratfordjazz.org.uk).
More about both these gigs next week.