One of the most creative and distinctive new strands in British jazz over the last few years has been the consolidation of a strong crossover between jazz and Asian music.
Zoe Rahman’s band with her brother Idris on clarinet, is one such group, but perhaps the standard bearer for this fusion is clarinetist Arun Ghosh.
On Saturday he brings his sextet, which includes Idris Rahman on his more usual instrument, tenor saxophone, to the MAC.
On bass is Dr Das, with Aref Durvesh on tabla and other percussion, Koshon Khan on piano and Myke Wilson on drums.
Ghosh describes his heritage thus: “Conceived in Calcutta, bred in Bolton, matured in Manchester and now living in London.”
The snake-charming, sinewy melodies of the clarinet and saxophone over the hot rhythms of South Asian music form a heady and beguiling mix, and Ghosh brings a passion to both his music and the band which makes for a performance not easily forgotten.
This is a Birmingham Jazz presentation, and starts at 8pm in the MAC Theatre. Tickets are £12 and are available from macarts.co.uk. There is more information at www.birminghamjazz.co.uk
Tonight there is a treat to be had at the Yardbird, in Paradise Place, Birmingham. Pianist, trombonist, composer and Birmingham Conservatoire teacher Hans Koller is bringing his Fun House Living ensemble of young Birmingham musicians in – let’s hope they can all fit on the stage. The music starts at 9pm, there is usually a jam session which follows at 11pm, and entry is free. You just need to buy a lot of drinks to keep the bar’s owners happy.
More information about this gig is at www.cobwebcollective.com
On Friday it’s the turn of the big man of the boogie woogie and blues piano, Steve “Big Man” Clayton, to get the Rush Hour Blues crowd swinging their replacement hips. Born in Birmingham and even bigger in Germany than he is here, Steve Clayton has seven CDs to his name as well as a shelf of awards.
The Rush Hour session gets going at 5.30pm and finishes at 7pm. It’s co-presented by Symphony Hall and Birmingham Jazz and entry is free.
The trend seems to be to mix numbers and letters in telling us how many are in the group, so to the Robert Mitchell 3io and Kairos 4tet we can now add the Diatribes 6tet. The band, which has an interesting line-up of cello, laptops, bass and percussion, is playing the Fizzle session at the Lamp Tavern down Digbeth way, on Tuesday.
The band apparently favours “evolving rhythm and textures” rather than taking turns to improvise, and they “celebrate all forms of sound from full throttled rhythm to threadbare textures”.
It all starts at 9pm, and entrance is £5 but £3 for students.
More information at www.cobwebcollective.com