Of course there are good gigs every week – some even have surprises of the order of Brad Mehldau Trio drummer Jeff Ballard dropping in unannounced, as happened last night at York’s Bakery! – but here are some that should have stars next to them in your diary:
Tonight: What in common parlance could be called an “all-star supergroup” is at the Lamp Tavern in Digbeth this evening, for Fizzle. Liam Noble is on piano, Paul Dunmall on saxophone and Mark Sanders on drums. Expect free jazz with extra nuance. Trombonist Richard Foote is the strong support. Entrance is just £5 and it all happens from 7pm. The early start and early finish is so you can catch the late set at The Spotted Dog not too far away, which this week features George Crowley’s Can Of Worms. The jam session which follows is organised by Billy Weir. Donations should be generous.
Tomorrow: Troyka – the trio of Chris Montague, Kit Downes and Joshua Blackmore is at the mac from 8pm. Expect to hear all of the new album Ornithophobia which is reviewed here. Entrance is £12.
Thursday: The new Fleet Street Kitchen sessions masterminded by Beat City and which fill the hole left by the closure of The Yardbird (have they bulldozed it yet?) are gaining momentum and this week the very classy alto saxophonist Chris Maddock leads his Quartet from 9pm, with support beforehand and a jam session following. Fleet Street Kitchen is in Fleet Street, just near Summer Row. Donate with munificance.
Friday: Wayne Shorter won’t be upstairs at The Red Lion in Warstone Lane in person, but his spirit will be very present in the music of the Wild Flower Sextet, which includes young trumpet star Laura Jurd. The band, led by tenor saxophonist Matt Anderson, is at this Birmingham Jazz evening from 7.45pm. Entrance is £12.
Saturday: The spirit of Wayne makes the quick leap from Birmingham to Wolverhampton where there’s a near homecoming for Shropshire-born tenor saxophonist and Shorter disciple Trish Clowes. Her Tangent Quintet has Gwilym Simcock on piano, Alex Munk on guitar, Calum Gourlay on double bass and James Maddren on drums. Bands don’t come much better than this one, and BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Clowes has been garnering rave reviews for her sophisticated compositions and clear musical vision. Trish Clowes’ Tangent Quintet plays the Arena Theatre from 8pm. Entrance is £12.
- For full details of all these gigs and links to the relevant websites, go to the February diary here.