Phil Robson leads the week ahead’s Midland gigs

The prestige gig this week is on Sunday down at The Chapel, No 1, Shakespeare Street in Stratford-upon-Avon, at 8pm.

Stratford Jazz has booked guitarist Phil Robson leading his band Immeasurable Code, a group he formed, with assistance from his home-town supporters, Derby Jazz, to play his compositions inspired by communications down the centuries.

Phil Robson

For inspiration, Robson has gone back as far as Fire And The Drum and come right up to date with The Net and The Instant Message.

His band features his guitar with saxophone and flute, bass and drums, with the original line-up maintained with one change.

The Cuban drummer Ernesto Simpson is here, along with Michael Janisch on bass, and Gareth Lockrane on flutes.

The original saxophonist on the recording of The Immeasurable Code, and in an initial set of performances, including one at last year’s London Jazz Festival, was the US player Mark Turner. He has now been replaced by Julian Arguelles.

So we might be denied the singular improvisations of one of the most original saxophone stylists working out of the US at the moment, but we have instead one of the finest saxophonists this country has produced.

The last time I heard Julian Arguelles was in a special band formed by pianist John Taylor for a Cheltenham Jazz Festival performance of a newly commissioned suite, and the tenor and soprano player just seems to get better and better all the time.

This should be a hugely rewarding evening of fabulous music and fabulous players. And, just to confirm that, the LondonJazz review of this band just a few days ago is here.

Phil Robson’s Immeasurable Code Quintet are on from shortly after 8pm. Tickets are £12 and it would be advisable to book, I reckon. More information on the gig and how to book at

Other gigs of note this week:

Tonight – The Blue Notes, the band formed by the late Andy Hamilton, are back at Bearwood Corks Club, and this time they have Roy Forbes adding the vocals. Tickets are  £4 and the doors open at 8.30pm. Find out more at

Tomorrow – The early evening Jazzlines session in the Symphony Hall foyer bar is provided by Chris Aldridge and his band Beebe – Percy Pursglove on trumpet, Levin French on piano, Ben Markland on bass and Neil Bullock on drums. This band replaces the previously advertised Yuri Galkin Nonet, which has had to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. The session starts at the new time of 5pm, remember, and this is a Jazzlines gig. More at

Tomorrow – The Steve Tromans Trio is at The Ort Cafe from 9pm, but this is no ordinary piano trio with bass and drums. With pianist Steve will be Jim Bashford on drums and Colin Mills on baritone and soprano saxophones. Should be fun! Entry is free but you are encouraged to give generously to the collection. More at

Sunday – The Steve King Big Band has been going for 35 years, would you believe. It started as a youth jazz band but has grown to incorporate semi-pro and pro players. They are at Solihull Arts Complex from 7.30pm, tickets are £14 and the box office is on 0121 704 6962.

Tuesday  – If two tubas with a penchant for doom metal and drones sounds like your thing, then ORE at the Lamp Tavern is for you. Mike Hurley will be assisting on drums. Kick-off is  8.30pm, tickets are £5, and there is more at

Finally, there is still time to vote in the 26th British Jazz Awards 2012. These awards, masterminded by Birmingham’s Big Bear organisation, focus on the mainstream, I think it is fair to say, with all the usual suspects up there on the expert panel-nominated shortlists: Bruce Adams for trumpet, Mark Nightingale for trombone, Alan Barnes for alto, Dave Newton for piano, etc.

But there are also a few of the younger and more adventurous players in there, notably Kit Downes in the piano category, Jim Hart for vibes and drummer James Maddren in the rising star category. And I’m delighted to see Beats and Pieces in the big band short-list.

The nominations and full details here, there is a link for you to vote online, and voting closes on 8 October.

Categories: Preview

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. I thought I should just add that the gig at the Ort Cafe tonight will also feature Tom Ford on electric guitar. Tom has recently joined myself, Colin Mills, and Jim Bashford in the band, which is called Steve Tromans’ Quartet Extempo. We are currently working on material for a studio album to be recorded in the new year, provisionally titled “Icarus Rising”. Hope to see some of you down the Ort from 9pm…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: