Miles behind and still miles ahead

“Played with Miles Davis” – those four words denote a pretty exclusive bunch of musicians and often remain the most effective marketing catch phrase for the rest of their careers.

They can be attached to the name Steve Grossman, the saxophonist who will be playing at Birmingham’s Polish Club tonight  as part of the Damon Brown Quintet.

Grossman is a fiery player with a sandpaper tone that can be an acquired taste. That he has paid his jazz dues and is the kind of player who doesn’t rest on his laurels is also implied in the magical four words.

But what of Brown, his leader on this gig? The trumpeter has quietly gone about building up a strong CV with experience in the dance and reggae fields as well as classic Blue Note-influenced jazz. He has played many international festivals and regularly in clubs like Ronnie Scott’s. Grossman first played with him in 2003.

Completing the line-up is Robin Aspland on piano, Mark Hodgson on bass and, familiar from Soweto Kinch’s band, Troy Miller on drums.

The Damon Brown Quintet is at the Polish Club, which is a short walk from the Bull Ring, at 8pm this evening. Tickets £10 (£7 members and concs) or on the door. Get there early and eat in the interesting Polish restaurant in the basement. It’s good value.

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