The spirit of the Blue Note label and all those classic releases on LP in the 1960s is going to be summoned up on Saturday evening when Birmingham Jazz presents a special project featuring the cream of Midland-based musicians.
It’s a supergroup of sorts with Chris Bowden on alto saxophone, Percy Pursglove on trumpet, Steve Tromans on piano, Ben Markland on double bass, Neil Bullock on drums and a special guest, trumpeter Bryan Corbett.
A spokesman for Birmingham Jazz said: “None of these excellent artists need an introduction to jazz lovers, let’s just say it promises to be an unforgettable night of first class contemporary jazz.”
So, a jazz club setting, good food and excellent real ale – should be an evening of great warmth.
Blue Note night is at The Barton Arms, in High Street, Aston, it starts at 7.45pm and tickets are £10 (£8 members). Find out more at www.birminghamjazz.co.uk
Tomorrow, in the early evening, one of my favourite young Birmingham musicians steps into the limelight as a leader.
If you frequent the city’s jazz haunts you will have heard pianist Andy Bunting as a sideman in various bands. His solos were highlights in the D’Angelo/Weiss and Mike Fletcher Big Band concert at the CBSO Centre in January.
The Andy Bunting Quintet is newly formed and has Lluis Mather and Mike Fletcher on saxophones and other woodwind, Chris Mapp on bass and Jonathan Silk on drums.
The band is playing the Jazzlines Free Jazz session in the Symphony Hall Cafe Bar from 5pm. Expect strong melodies, good grooves and influences which extend from Monk to Hendrix via J Dilla. Find out more about the gig at thsh.co.uk and more about Andy at his classy website www.andybunting.co.uk
There is another new band on the stand tomorrow evening as Manchester-based guitarist Anton Hunter, well known for his band HAQ and for being part of the Beats & Pieces Big Band, leads a trio at The Ort Cafe.
James Adolpho is on bass and Johnny Hunter on drums, the band is on tour, and offering music which, I am told, has been compared to Tortoise and Godspeed You! Black Emperor as often as to Bill Frisell. I would expect some dark tones, and a slow build to intensity.
Hunter feels it’s more introspective and spacious than his other bands, and a little instrospection and space is what everyone can do with at the end of the working week.
The music starts at 9pm, The Ort Cafe is in Balsall Heath and tickets are £5 (£3 concessions) on the door. More at www.ortcafe.co.uk
There’s a whole different kind of free improvisational music at the Hare And Hounds on Tuesday evening, courtesy of Mopomoso. It’s masterminded by guitarist John Russell and pianist/trumpeter/composer Chris Burn, and the other musicians include saxophonist Evan Parker and violinist Alison Blunt. It’s at 8pm, tickets are £6/£5 and there is much more about it here.
Double bassist Gavin Barras has turned the riots of August 2011 into an album called Day Of Reckoning.
He explained: “I composed all the music on the bass so alway began with a groove/bass line and developed from there.
“The compositions are based on short forms with a lot of improvised sections. Other inspiration came from some early Andrew Hill Blue Note records and the famous Out To Lunch album by Eric Dolphy.”
It’s a strong Quintet with Ed Jones on tenor saxophone, Corey Mwamba on vibes, Steve Plews on piano and Dave Walsh on drums.
JazzWise magazine said: “Jones is formidable throughout and the set otherwise contrasts exquisitely lyrical low-light ballads with freer groove-based material and tracks that sound like abstract imaginary film noir scores soundtracking the landscape of the riots at the time.”
Hear what it all sounds like live at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth on Tuesday evening from 9pm. £5 donation encouraged. More at www.blambirmingham.co.uk