Birmingham Jazz tries something a little different on Friday as part of its CBSO Centre programme.
Claire Martin has developed into one of the most interesting jazz singers around, not only for her interpretive abilities with melody and lyrics, but for the breadth of her experience and her ability to transcend the conventional pigeon-holing that is inflicted upon jazz singers.
So, for example, Claire can do that supper club thing, that glitzy New York hotel malarkey, that showbiz shtick; but she can also do the serious jazz.
She can reminisce with her Richard Rodney Bennett over golden oldies from the Great American Songbook; and she can explore her own interpretations of Esbjorn Svensson or Joshua Redman songs with her small group.
She can provide a completely fresh interpretation of a song you have heard a thousand times; and she can convince you that a song she has just written is good enough to stand alongside those jazz standards.
She’ll be doing all those latter things, certainly, at the CBSO Centre on Friday, with a classy band that usually includes Gareth Williams on piano and Laurence Cottle as bassist and musical director.
The Claire Martin Band plays from 8pm, and tickets are available from 0121 780 3333 or at birminghamjazz.co.uk where you can also find out about a special dinner deal at Piccolino in Brindleyplace.
* Following a cracking gig by Empirical at The Drum last Sunday, Live Box does the business again this Sunday with a stripped down version of Robert Mitchell’s Panacea at The Hare & Hounds. Panacea is the pianist’s octet which features both classical influences in its use of strings and R&B ones in its use of vocals.
* Tomorrow’s Rush Hour Blues gig features Bright Noise, a young band led by tenor player Ben Bryden, exploring alternative rock influences on jazz and tricky time signatures. The music starts at 5.30pm in the Symphony Hall foyer bar and entry is free.
* On Wednesday at The Cross in Moseley, it’s the turn of drummer Dan Weiss, pianist Jakob Sacks and bassist Thomas Morgan. The influence is from India.
This is a co-promotion of the Cobweb Collective and Birmingham Jazz. It starts at 8pm, tickets are £5 at the door.
* Finally, if the sounds of 1920s New York is your thing check out Spats Langham’s Hot Fingers at The Old House At Home on Lordswood Road, Harborne, on Sunday from 7pm. Admission is free.