The big gig this week is in the small space of the upstairs room at the Red Lion in the Jewellery Quarter, which is good news because cosy confines mean a great club atmosphere and the music right up close.
The musicians you’ll be sitting next to on Sunday evening are pianist John Law, double bassist Yuri Goloubev and drummer Jon Scott.
Law is not a particularly frequent visitor to these parts so it’s a valuable chance to catch up on the live playing of a fascinating musician.
He started out on the classical concert route before being lured into the free improvised area where jazz overlaps with other avant garde musical spontaneous sound creation, before settling into a contemporary piano trio home, where he can still bring in elements of classical and free music.
The Moscow-born Goloubev is another classically trained player and one of the most accomplished masters of the double bass currently working in the jazz field. To have him and his giant fiddle up close and resonant will be a real treat.
Drummer Jon Scott is the youngster in the band, but has already done a lot, most notably in this country as the drummer in Adam Waldmann’s Kairos 4tet. He is a joy to hear and watch.
The John Law Trio, then, brought to you by Birmingham Jazz at the Red Lion in Warstone Lane, Birmingham B18 6NG, from 7.45pm on Sunday. Entry is just £10 (£8 for members) and the beer, I am told, is extremely good. Find out more at www.birminghamjazz.co.uk
Other gigs of note in the next seven days:
Tonight: Graeme Hamilton, son of the late Andy, is playing trumpet with a guest house band at the Bearwood Corks Club this evening. The music starts around 9pm and entry is £5. More at www.bearwoodjazz.co.uk
Tonight: Steve Tromans Quartet at The Yardbird. It’s an 8.30pm start, free entry and you can find out more here.
Tomorrow: The early evening Jazzlines session at the Symphony Hall Cafe Bar is being given by the Steve Clayton Blues Band, with the pianist now resident in Germany bringing that good-time feel back to his old home town. It runs from 5pm. Entry is free. More at www.thsh.co.uk
Tomorrow: Steve Tromans with Chris Bowden and Miles Levin, Ort Cafe, from 8.30pm, free entry. Find out more here.
Sunday: The organ’s the thing at Stratford Jazz with Pedalmania, comprising John-Paul Gard on the big Hammond B3, Ben Waghorn on saxophone and Eddie John on drums. Gard has a new album out called Come On Rita, so expect to be able to take home a souvenir of a funky night out. The gig is at The Chapel, No 1 Shakespeare Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6RN, it starts at 8pm, and tickets are £8 (students half price). More at www.stratfordjazz.org.uk
Sunday: The makers of the Birmingham International Jazz & Blues Festival have been celebrating the liberating legislation of the new Live Music Act all this month with free gigs in non-conventional venues, and there are still gigs going on now till Christmas. This one, for example, is the Mike Burney Quartet at Rose Villa Tavern, Warstone Lane, Jewellery Quarter from 4pm (so you could start out here and go on to the Red Lion gig after an early supper!)
Tuesday: Pianist, composer and band leader David Grey brings his Wynton Kelly project to The Spotted Dog in Digbeth. Called One Many People, the band plays music both by and inspired by the Jamaican pianist who was in Miles Davis’s famous “first” quintet. The fun starts at 9pm, and although entry is free donations are encouraged. More at www.blambirmingham.co.uk
Tuesday: There is another chance to hear the twin-tuba doom metal meets free jazz mind-blast of ORE when Stuart Estell and Sam Underwood bring their big metal things to the Fizzle session at the Lamp Tavern in Digbeth. Entry is £5 and it starts at 8.30pm.
Finally, move fast if you want a ticket for the great Wayne Shorter and his Quartet at the Town Hall on Thursday 1 November. Booking is at www.thsh.co.uk, and while you are about it book for two more excellent Jazzlines gigs as well: Supersilent on 14 November and the Jack DeJohnette Group on 20 November.