If you are going to try a few gigs in the English Midlands this month, these are the ones I’d choose from first:
The Impossible Gentlemen
Jazz @ The Arena, Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton
The Anglo-American band now numbers five with the addition of saxophonist/clarinettist Iain Dixon. One of the finest 21st Century jazz groups I know, and hugely enjoyable live.
Fizzle, The Lamp Tavern, Digbeth, Birmingham
Wichita-born but never a line man… The New York based tenor saxophonist pays a rare Birmingham visit, and explores his experimental side in a solo performance. Something of a scoop for promoters Fizzle.
Andy Sheppard’s Hotel Bristol
Jazz Steps, Bonnington Theatre, Arnold, Notts
The saxophonist takes a break from ECM and Bley for a back-to-his-roots, groove-oriented outing with guitarist Denny Illet, paying passing tribute to Lovano and Scofield along the way.
Alexander Hawkins Ensemble
Derby Jazz, Voicebox, Derby
Thoroughly original and forward-looking band with the giant reedsman Shabaka Hutchings on board.
Match & Fuse Mini-Festival
Jazzlines, Hare And Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham
8pm, £10 (or £12.50 on the door)
Three European bands – Horse Orchestra. Krokofant and Stepmother Jag – for the price of one courtesy of the ground-breaking underground music promoters. The place to show Brexit the finger.
For an extensive listing of Birmingham jazz gigs this month, look out for the Jazz In Birmingham leaflets at venues around the city, or view a PDF HERE.