I restricted myself mainly to the Jazz Legends strand: US band leaders who have been plying their trade for quite a while now - in the case of vibes player Gary Burton for over 50 years.
Burton (70) has always fostered young guitarists and with Julian Lage (26) by his side he showed that jazz prowess makes age an irrelevance. The New Gary Burton Quartet was on blistering form.
While Burton revolutionised vibes playing back in the 1960s, it looks like Jason Adasiewicz is doing the same today. He plays the hottest vibes around, holding the mallets high and crashing them down to give maximum resonance in his Sun Rooms trio. The young Chicago avant-gardist proves that ground-breaking music can still swing like mad.
Back with the Jazz Legends, the guitarist Mike Stern rocked the Big Top venue along with his former Miles Davis cohort, saxophonist Bill Evans, and a full-on jazz fusion band which included the drum obsessives’ favourite, Dave Weckl. The music had a dinosaur quality to it but Stern’s grinning enthusiasm is hard to resist.
The trumpeter Dave Douglas recently turned his attentions to folk and church music and with singer Heather Masse augmenting his Quintet he presented a rich musical range which included music by Sibelius and Gillian Welch.
Birmingham musicians I heard at Cheltenham included saxophonist Lluis Mather and trumpeter Percy Pursglove as part of the Mike Gibbs band, and our new soul superstar Laura Mvula who, of course, entranced the jazz crowd.