* One of the recent highlights of the Rush Hour Blues programme on Friday evenings at Symphony Hall was the appearance of the Chris Biscoe Profiles Quartet.
If you missed the chance to hear the saxophonist known for his work with the Mike Westbrook Orchestra, and for his recent imaginative reworkings of Charles Mingus’s and Eric Dolphy’s music, then you are probably kicking yourself.
Well, kick no more. The band is at the Lichfield Guildhall on Sunday, courtesy of Lichfield Arts.
And what a band it is – joining Biscoe on alto saxophone and alto clarinet are Tony Kofi on tenor saxophone, Larry Bartley on bass and Stu Butterfield on drums.
The material they will be playing can be found on two Biscoe CDs. The first, Gone In The Air, released in 2008 to coincide with what would have been Eric Dolphy’s 80th birthday. The most recent is Profiles Of Mingus, which showcased musical portraits the great bass player had made of friends and others.
Hear them all played by a band that adds even more spice to the music in concert.
The gig starts at 8pm, tickets are £12 – or half that for students – and you can find out more at lichfieldarts.org.uk
* Before that, if you want to hear what the band with the widest age range in the business is up to, head for the Bearwood Corks Club. The Notebenders Big Band, inspired by Andy Hamilton, co-directed by Huw and Chris Morgan, and including players young and not-so-young who go to the regular Friday workshop sessions at Ladywood Community Centre, will be on stage from 9pm and tickets are £4. More information at bearwoodjazz.co.uk
* Back to the Rush Hour Blues, and on Friday it’s the turn of the Mick Hutton Quartet. This bass player has an illustrious CV, including stints with Bill Bruford, John Taylor and Tim Garland as well as being part of First House with Django Bates and Martin France. A torn ligament put an end to his double bass playing career and he now plays bass guitar and percussion as well as doing a lot of composing.
Mick’s quartet includes the multi-reed master and BBC Big Band regular Andy Panayi. The Rush Hour session is from 5.30pm to 7pm in the Symphony Hall foyer bar and is free.
* There’s a trip north that is well worth the petrol either tonight (Thursday) or on Wednesday. Kit Downes has a superb new Trio CD, Quiet Tiger, about to be released and the Mercury Prize nominated band is starting a major British tour.
Tonight (Thursday) they are part of the Buxton Four Four Time Festival, playing in the Buxton Opera House Pavilion at 8pm. Tickets and more information at buxtonoperahouse.org.uk. On Wednesday at 7.30pm the Kit Downes Trio is at New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. newvictheatre.org.uk