Friday’s planned jazz all-nighter in Birmingham Town Hall has had to be cancelled due to poor ticket sales, but there is still some exciting jazz or jazz-related music to be heard this weekend in two days of RISK, themed events around that concept.
The highlights come on Sunday in the form of an afternoon performance by Norwegians Arve Henriksen and Jan Bang, and an early evening concert by Australian piano trio The Necks. Both are in Town Hall and presented in the round for the ultimate involving audience experience.
Arve Henriksen has brought to current jazz as distinctive a sound and atmosphere to the trumpet as Miles Davis did in the 1950s. His is a quiet, intimate, almost vocal sound, full of breath and nuance. He is also an extraordinary singer, able to reach falsetto chorister heights.
His latest album, Places Of Worship, gained a five-star review from the Guardian’s John Fordham and is substantially a collaboration with sound expert Jan Bang, who works in samples of other music and manipulates the results of Henriksen’s own playing.
The Necks have played before in Birmingham and always draw a good crowd, though not necessarily a jazz one. That’s a pity, as they have a lot to offer an audience that can get lost in the spontaneous flow of music, which is what pianist Chris Abrahams, drummer Tony Buck and bassist Lloyd Swanton excel in.
Their new album, Open, is reviewed on page four.
Arve Henriksen and Jan Bang play the Town Hall at 2pm on Sunday; The Necks are at 6.30pm. These are both Jazzlines/RISK concerts. Details and booking at www.thsh.co.uk
* On Tuesday, the influence of Langston Hughes, poet, novelist, dramatist and social activist who was a prime mover of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, is acknowledged by an Anglo-French band.
The Langston Project has been made possible by Jazz Shuttle, which brings together French and British musicians. The band is led by Paris-based guitarist Hasse Poulsen and includes singer Elaine Mitchener, bassist Luc Ex and drummer Mark Sanders.
* Before all that, saxophonist Arabella Sprot brings her quartet into The Red Lion tomorrow night for a Birmingham Jazz Club Night.
Robbie Moore is on piano, Alex Phillips on bass and Ric Yarborough on drums. Sprot is studying at Birmingham Conservatoire.
The band plays from 7.45pm, The Red Lion is in Warstone Lane and there is more at www.birminghamjazz.co.uk
* Over in Coventry, singer/songwriter Gwyneth Herbert is performing music from her album The Sea Cabinet at Warwick Arts Centre at 7.45pm
tomorrow. There is free music in the foyer beforehand from the band Interplay. Details at www.warwickartscentre.co.uk