Busy week ends with supergroups in Bromsgrove and Coventry

Blue Touch Paper - Artrix on Wednesday

Blue Touch Paper – Artrix on Wednesday

It’s another busy jazz week in the smaller or sometimes novel venues with lots of very exciting homegrown music plus some visitors from elsewhere in the land. Plus there’s a supergroup or two in the Wednesday triple-stretch grand finale.

First up there is the three-way Thursday choice.

The main band in the revamped Beat City offering at The Yardbird, is co-led by saxophonists Chris Maddock and Nadim Teimoori and you can find a full preview here.

The Maddock/Teimoori Quintet is on at 8.30pm and will be preceded by the John Greenwood Quartet; there will be a jam session into the early hours. For more look for Beat City main man Sam Marchant on Facebook.

The Ort Cafe is a jazz venue again for the pianist John Law’s enthrallingly named Boink! The other Boinkers are Jon Lloyd on soprano saxophone and bass clarinet, Rob Palmer on guitar and Lloyd Haines on drums, with visual effects from Patrick Dunn.

It begins at 8pm, tickets are £8 on the door, you can hear a little at soundcloud.com/john-law-piano and find out more at www.ortcafe.co.uk

And, of course, Thursday is always Silvershine Jazz Club night. This time on the stand you will find the Trevor Emeny Trio. Doors open at 8.30pm, entrance is £4. More at www.bearwoodjazz.co.uk 

Friday features four more temptations.

Whichever way your path leads later, start out in the Symphony Hall Cafe Bar at 5pm where drummer Ric Yarborough, leads a trio with Chris Young on alto saxophone and Stuart Barker on double bass. More at www.thsh.co.uk/jazzlines

The choices are then as follows:

For another saxophone trio, head for The Red Lion in the Jewellery Quarter where the London-based and now Whirlwind Recording artists, the Tori Freestone Trio (Tim Giles drums, Dave Manington double bass) will be doing their thing from 7.45pm.

The blurb says: “Playing a mix of original compositions and standard repertoire, this new band is exploring the open quality that the trio format provides whilst taking inspiration from some of the non-chord sax-led trios of the moment.

Freestone is known as the co-leader of the band Compassionate Dictatorship, and has also played in Rory Simmons’ Fringe Magnetic.

Tickets are £12 and there is more at www.birminghamjazz.co.uk

For Afrobeat/dub and sweet, falsetto reggae vocals, The Drum in Aston is your desired destination. Here Soothsayers, co-led by trumpeter Robin Hopcraft and saxophonist Idris Rahman, collaborate with vocalist Cornel Campbell. They have a new album out called Nothing Can Stop Us, and nothing will stop them putting a smile on your face and a spring in your dance-step from 9pm. Tickets are £15 on the door (£13 if you book) and there is more at www.the-drum.org.uk

To hear two very talented, Birmingham Conservatoire-trained singers in an interesting settting, it’s a short walk to the Ikon Gallery in Brindley Place, where you can hear Snapdragon and the Anthony Marsden Quartet. There is a full preview here.

Full marks to promoters Kontrast (otherwise known as David Austin Grey) and the Ikon for presenting fresh art of the jazz kind in this marvellous gallery. Starts 8.30pm, £10. Find out more at Kontrast: Live Jazz at Ikon on Facebook or at www.ikon-gallery.org

Finally, ace jazz/soundtrack composer (and one-time rock musician) Colin Towns brings his Anglo-German jazz-rock outfit Blue Touch Paper to the Artrix theatre in Bromsgrove on Wednesday.

The band features Polar Bear saxophonist Mark Lockheart, Troyka guitarist Chris Montague with Benny Grebb on drums, Stephan Maas on percussion and Edward Maclean on bass.

The sextet first stirred interest back in 2012 with their first album, Stand Well Back, and built on it in impressive fashion for the recent Drawing Breath, of which John Fordham, writing in the Guardian, said: “edgily contemporary…an atmosphere of youthful exuberance that shows how much Towns and his new recruits are now inspiring each other”. He gave the album five stars, which is no mean achievement.

The band is likely to be even more exciting in the flesh. They start at 8pm, tickets are £15 and there is more at www.artrix.co.uk

Wednesday also has two excellent gigs down Warwickshire way:

Let Spin at The Coal Vaults on Wednesday

Let Spin – The Coal Vaults on Wednesday

The Tin Music (formerly Tin Angel) has an exciting contemporary quartet called Let Spin at The Coal Vaults in Coventry’s Canal Basin. In its own way this is also a supergroup, comprising Acoustic Ladyland bassist Ruth Goller, Led Bib saxophonist Chris Williams, the Moss Project guitarist Moss Freed, and Beats & Pieces drummer Fin Panter. The band has an album just released on Efpi Records.

The band is on at 8pm, tickets are £6 (£4 concessions) in advance from www.thetinmusicandarts.org.uk or from Beer Gonzo (Earlsdon High St), Conroys (Corporation St) or The Pod (Lamb St), all in Coventry.

Meanwhile Stratford Jazz has the Duncan Eagles/Mark Perry Quintet, at 8pm at No1 Shakespeare Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, tickets £10 and there is much more about this fine London-based band with an album out on the F-IRE label at www.stratfordjazz.org.uk

And don’t forget:

There is jazz every Monday evening at Yorks Bakery Cafe in Newhall Street, just off Colmore Row, and every Tuesday at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth. More at www.yorksbakerycafe.co.uk and at Jazz @ The Spotted Dog on Facebook, respectively.

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