Jazz moved in a radical new direction in the last years of the old millennium, with some innovative musicians linking the instruments of jazz into the new electronic innovations of the time.

Of course, jazz and electricity had been bedfellows ever since Miles Davis added the crackle and squawk of feedback into his band’s spacious and spacey soundscape nearly 30 years earlier.

But these new experimentalists were creating a music that, while it took a great deal of inspiration from Miles, also fed on the kind of new stuff the young knob-twiddling nerds were creating, and also used the beats of hip-hop.

One of the jazz musicians at the forefront of this movement, and one of the prime movers in what came to be called nu-jazz, was Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer.

Molvaer has stayed true to this way of moving jazz into a new era, electronically manipulating the chilly sound of his trumpet.

He creates a strongly atmospheric ambience both on his recordings and in performance, and will be doing just that at the Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath on Friday night, along with the drummer Auden Kleive and guitarist Stian Westerhus.

This is a Birmingham Jazz promotion in collaboration with Polar Bear Records. Tickets are £10 from Polar Bear, or call the shop on 0121 441 5202. It starts at 8.30pm.


On Saturday, jazz goes gypsy, with the TG Collective (formerly Trio Gitano) taking over the Polish Club, not far from the Bullring.

TG has guitarists Sam Slater and Jamie Fekete as its centre, with Percy Pursglove on bass and trumpet, Holly Jones on flute and Louis Robinson on violin.

The gig starts at 8pm, tickets are £8, and this is also a Birmingham Jazz promotion.


And making it a very busy week for the BJ staff, on Tuesday there is something of a cutting-edge jazz supergroup attempting to lift the roof of the CBSO Centre.

From the band The Bad Plus are pianist Ethan Iverson and drummer Dave King, and from the downtown New York aristocracy come saxophonist Tim Berne and cellist Hank Roberts. Tickets are £13 from thsh.co.uk or 0121 780 3333, and the gig starts at 8pm.


Finally, enjoy some fabulous music from Africa as the latest tri-part African Soul Rebels tour hits Coventry. At Warwick Arts Centre from 8pm tonight are the iconoclastic Kalahari Surfers from South Africa, the funky Orchestre Ploy-Rhythmo de Cotonou from Benin and the truly golden-voiced Oumou Sangare from Mali.

Tickets are £20 from warwickartscentre.co.uk or 024 7652 4524.

Please send news and views to peterbacon@mac.com