There are three top-notch Midland gigs all clashing on Friday night so those with broad jazz taste will have some tough decisions to make.
If the freer end of the music and downtown New York experimentalism is your bag, then the CBSO Centre in Berkley Street, Birmingham, will be your chosen destination.
The band is BB&C, which stands for saxophonist Tim Berne, drummer Jim Black and guitarist Nels Cline.
The last time I saw Cline was singing along with the choruses to songs from the alt-rock outfit Wilco in a marquee in Belfast a couple of years back. I doubt there will be any choruses, and certainly no singing along, tomorrow night.
This is a Jazzlines gig and in his February blog Tony Dudley-Evans writes:
“Tim’s music seems to switch between more composed projects, Snake Oil being latest of these, and more improvised projects. BB&C falls into the latter category, but Tim has always introduced interesting composed sections into any project of his.”
BB&C are on from 8pm and there is more here.
If some homegrown progressive jazz with Afrobeat overtones played by one of the stalwarts of the contemporary UK scene in a “group discussion” with some of his younger musical friends sounds like your thing, then you will be at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton.
Double bassist Gary Crosby is the leader and his Groundation quartet grew out of his long-running Young Warriors jazz nursery for up and coming players.
They are Nathaniel Facey on saxophone, best known now as part of Empirical, Shirley Tetteh on guitar and Moses Boyd on drums.
Reviewing their Marlborough Jazz Festival gig last summer for London Jazz News, Rosie Walters had this to say:
“Despite stiff competition from the treasure chest of performers, the absolute highlight of the whole day, had to be Gary Crosby’s Groundation.”
Groundation will be playing from 8pm – Find out more here.
If you fancy the more intimate surroundings of an upstairs pub room with excellent beer to go along with original music from a Berklee-trained guitarist who also has an Empirical member with him, then The Red Lion is your Friday evening location.
The Ant Law Quartet is completed by Michael Chillingworth on saxophone, Dave Hamblett on drums and Ivo Neame on piano.
Classy London players with their set list based on the band’s new Entanglement CD.
This is a Birmingham Jazz gig, starts smack on 7.45pm and there is more here.
Other good gigs this week:
Kinda Dukish, the Midlands-based big band that dedicates itself to the charts of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, is doing its monthly gig at The British Oak on the Pershore Road. The doors open at 8.30pm.
The Anthony Marsden Band and the Sean Gibbs Quintet play The Yardbird, from 8pm. More at Sam Marchant on Facebook.
The Steve Ajao Jazz Quartet, with Steve on saxophone, plays the Jazzlines Free Jazz session at Symphony Hall Cafe Bar at 5.30pm. More here.
The Bryan Corbett/Chris Dodds Quartet play music from their recent CD Green at The Jam House from 8.30pm. More here.
Saxophonist John Fleming leads his Quintet at The Spotted Dog from 9pm. More at Jazz @ The Spotted Dog on Facebook.