IT'S a long way back from Mongolia. Let’s be honest, it’s a long way to Mongolia in the first place.
Apparently you fly to Moscow and then sit on the Trans-Siberia railway for five days, and when you get there it’s like nowhere you’ve ever been before.
And then after you done that trip in reverse, you’re back somewhere you’ve been before but the name has changed.
At least this will be the experience of Steve Tromans, pianist and composer.
He played a lot at the Grapevine when he was in Birmingham before; now it’s called the Yardbird, and he is back there on Thursday, leading the Steve Tromans Debop Trio +1.
Steve is on electric piano, Chris Mapp is on bass and Miles Levin is on drums. The +1 is Sid Peacock who will be using his voice rather than his guitar, as narrator and more.
Steve has always been fascinated with the American Beat poets – he has previously written musical settings of Allen Ginsburg’s Howl and Jack Kerouac’s On The Road (yet to have it’s first public outing), but this time it is the turn of Gregory Corso’s poem Bomb.
Steve is as intrepid a musician as he is an adventurer (in addition to Russia and Mongolia, his time away has also included visits to China, Dubai and, most recently, Italy) so the ride should be bumpy, but always interesting.
It starts around 8pm. Find out more at steve-tromans.co.uk
* On Friday, the man they call Beebe, Chris Aldridge, brings his high-powered saxophone playing to the Symphony Hall foyer bar, and in his band are likely to be trumpeter Bryan Corbett and pianist Levi French.
Chris laid out his stall a while back in the Walsall Jazz Orchestra and has recorded a few albums and played with some big names.
The music starts at 5.30pm but if you want to play pensioner chair wrestling, you’ll need to be there earlier.
* On Sunday the small club that never sleeps, Stratford Jazz, is back in action with the Ewen Baird/Hugh Turner Quartet.
Ewen plays hardbop tenor, Hugh has a background in the funkier end of jazz – put them together and who knows what will happen.
Stratford Jazz meets at the White Swan in Stratford-upon-Avon at 8pm. Entrance is £5. There is more at
* And, finally, Friday, January 23, is a date that you might like to mark in your diary.
This is when the Julian Siegel Trio returns to the CBSO Centre.
This band – Julian on saxophone and clarinets, Greg Cohen on bass and Joey Baron on drums – made my 2008 CD of the year, and last time they played this venue they were just sensational. Don’t miss it!