August was once the time of year when jazz went on holiday but not this year. Here’s a quick guide to how you can fill most nights this week:
* Tomorrow (Friday) there is Chris Aldridge & Beebe at the Mint Hotel as part of the regular Rush Hour Blues August walkabout (www.birminghamjazz.co.uk) followed by a meal and music from Sam Wooster at the Bohemia restaurant in Selly Oak (www.eatbohemia.co.uk).
* On Sunday, spend the afternoon with either Four On The Floor at the Old Joint Stock (www.oldjointstocktheatre.co.uk), West Midlands Jazzmen at the Botanical Gardens (www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk), or the Creative Composers Ensemble at the mac (www.cobwebcollective.com). And in the evening head for Stratford-upon-Avon and the Interplay Quintet (www.stratfordjazz.org.uk).
* On Monday take a well-earned rest but on Tuesday head to the Spotted Dog in Digbeth where the Aaron Diaz Quartet are in the house (www.cobwebcollective.com)
* Finally, on Wednesday, down at Sutton Coldfield Football Club the Chicago Teddy Bears are squeezing their own tummies to bring you the right sounds (www.suttoncoldfieldtradjazzclub.btck.co.uk)
Now is also the time to bag something to look forward to when the nights start to draw in.
Birmingham Jazz has two superb gigs lined up for the autumn and you can book for them now.
On October 22, the new Anglo-Norwegian trio Meadow is playing the CBSO Centre. Meadow comprises pianist John Taylor, percussionist Thomas Stronen and saxophonist Tore Brunborg.
All have established strong careers of their own – Taylor with his own bands and as a member of Azimuth, Stronen with another Anglo--Norwegian band, Food, and Bromberg as a sideman for countless bands, including Trod Gustafson’s and Mathias Erick’s - but the combination of the three is quite magical. They will be supported by the British duo of pianist Andrew McCormack and saxophonist Jason Yarded, making this a real feast of a concert.
On November 12, also at the CBSO Centre, is the Steve Swallow Quintet.
Swallow is of course the master electric bassist. His band comprises Chris Cheek on tenor saxophone, Steve Cardenas on guitar and Jorge Rosy on drums, but the real wow-factor here is the inclusion of Swallow’s partner, the pianist and composer Carla Belie, in the band.
You can book now for both these concerts, on www.birminghamjazz.co.uk or by calling 0121 780 3333.