Well, Easter’s over, those long walks in the country and long evenings in the pub garden can give way to some sitting inside and letting the head fill with some of the finest jazz there is.
Yes, it’s time to head south, down that M5 all the way to 51.890 degrees north, 2.078 degrees west.
For those, so Wikipedia helpfully informs us, are the co-ordinates of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival.
This will be the second year of eschewing the Everyman Theatre in favour of the tented village in the Imperial Gardens behind Cheltenham Town Hall that is Jazz On The Square.
And this year, whether by Royal appointment or by sheer luck, it looks like the sun will shine on this semi-al fresco venture. In fact, that wedding will be screened in the gardens on Friday, but we will draw a veil over that in favour of much more important things.
There are some nice themes this year, including the ongoing strong relationship between Norway and Cheltenham, which means the Tord Gustavsen band, Susanna (she previously of the Magic Orchestra) and Stian Westerhuis will be appearing, and the Trondheim and Birmingham conservatories are combining their considerable student skills.
There is also a focus on piano trio music, very much a hallmark of the current jazz world.
To this end, the very strong line-up includes: Jasper Hoiby’s Phronesis, the Neil Cowley Trio, Tom Cawley’s Curios, and Kit Downes’ trio which now might look like a sextet but is in essence a trio with horn accompaniment.
There are two more pianists at the heart of this festival. One is possibly Britain’s best-known current jazz export, and the other is, in my humble opinion, the most important British jazz musician of the last 50 years. Yes, we’re talking Jamie and Django here.
Jamie Cullum is a guest director at Cheltenham and his own gig sold out within hours of going on sale.
It’s the fact that he also puts his name behind some of the more exploratory music on offer at this festival that makes his presence so vital.
Django Bates appears twice, with his Beloved Bird trio in tribute to Charlie Parker, and with a concert which presents him first as solo pianist and then leading a nine-piece for a new BBC Radio 3 commission. The band is called The T.D.Es, which is, I’m guessing, an honour Cheltenham’s artistic director Tony Dudley-Evans will treasure above all others.
There has been a change to one of the headline bands at Cheltenham. Due to an illness in the family, Dave Holland is no longer able to appear with the Overtone Quartet. His place has been taken by Larry Grenadier, making this band – Jason Moran on piano, Chris Potter on saxophone, Eric Harland on drums – still an all-star one.
There is bags of other great stuff going on right from now until Monday (the fun actually started on Wednesday), including a comprehensive programme of free fringe events.
* See cheltenhamfestivals.com/jazz