Some jazz promoters might have taken August off, but Jazzlines hasn’t packed the suntan cream and headed for the beach. Well, they might have optimistically packed the suntan cream because they’re placing the accent on outdoor jazz this week with two free gigs.
The first features the Rachael Cohen Quartet on the Outdoor Terrace at mac, and it starts at 7pm this evening.
Rachael has recently signed to bassist Michael Janisch’s Whirlwind Recordings label and she plays saxophone, writes the tunes and counts them in for Simon King on guitar, Nick Jurd on bass and Jim Bashford on drums.
If the sun is shining, the barbie will be fired up and a beer and a burger is just £6; if it’s raining too hard for outdoor fun, the fun will move inside.
Jazzlines go al fresco again tomorrow at Oozells Square in Brindley Place with a Brazilian theme (yep, it’s all about Rio now, London is so 2012 already).
Saxophonist Mike Fletcher leads Trio Bom Demais with the jazz interacting with bossa nova, samba and choro.
Prepare to start swaying in a cool manner from 5.30pm. Again, all you pay for are your drinks.
Also continuing through August are the Thursday evening jazz sessions at The Yardbird, with tonight’s band led by drummer Tim Bowes. Tim is a busy drummer doing all kinds of sessions and touring work, but with his Trio - Tom Ford on guitar and Wayne Matthews on bass - he chooses his repertoire from Pat Metheny, Chick Corea right across to John Mayer.
Expect fusion and funk excitement. The music starts shortly after 8pm and entry to The Yardbird, which is in Paradise Place, is free.
On Saturday lunchtimes Cafe Bohemia in Oak Tree Lane, Selly Oak, is holding a Saturday Jazz Kitchen, with music supplied by musicians from Birmingham University and Birmingham Conservatoire to help the Eggs Benedict slide down.
It starts at 12.30pm, and you just pay for your food and drinks.
Mike Fletcher continues to run his Tuesday night sessions at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth, and this coming Tuesday pianist Andy Bunting leads his Trio.
Bunting is a highly flexible and coolly intelligent player who brings improvisational delights whatever the instrumental setting. This band give him loads of room to move and interact with Nick Jurd on bass and Jonathan Silk on drums. Ace stuff, and it all starts at around 9pm.
The band is rumoured to be working on an album this summer so they should be in great form.
Entry to The Spotted Dog is free but you are encouraged to contribute when the hat goes round. It’s not hard to respond generously when the music is this good.
Finally, a quick tip for those jazz fans who like to make the occasional foray into other types of fine music. The wonderful Punch Brothers are coming to Birmingham in the autumn.
Punch Brothers is an acoustic bluegrass band led by mandolin supremo Chris Thile - he recently did a duo gig with Brad Mehldau at the Wigmore Hall in London, so there is a jazz connection - and they are superb players, both individually and as an ensemble.
They are at the O2 Academy2 on Wednesday 7 November, and tickets are now on sale via ticketweb.