Welcome to the first of a monthly summary of our highlights from the previous month and a brief look forward to the gigs coming up in the next four weeks or so.
Our pick of last month has to be the Wayne Shorter Quartet at Town Hall. It was an amazing, life-changing concert that has to be for me the highlight of a long promoting career. The creativity of Wayne, gentle for quite long passages, but building up to massive climaxes, and the interaction within the group made this a very special event. It was also wonderful to see a full house in Town Hall giving the quartet a standing ovation at the end of the concert. And let’s not overlook the contribution that the Jazzlines Trio made to the success of the evening in the opening set.
Other highlights of the last month include Soweto Kinch’s gig with his trio previewing material from the forthcoming album. It all felt very fresh and the movement from the jazz to rap and back is as seamless and convincing as ever.
Claire Martin and Sara Colman launched the new vocal series curated by Sara very successfully at the CBSO Centre. Read Peter Bacon’s review here. Jonathan Silk also presented a new and very impressive first performance by a new sextet of his.
I am really looking forward to Supersilent with John Paul Jones tonight (14 Nov) – they are a great live band and each performance is different; it will be fascinating to hear what effect the presence of the legendary bassist will have on the sound. However, the gig of the month has to be the appearance at the Adrian Boult Hall on Tuesday 20 November of Jack DeJohnette with a quintet featuring Don Byron on clarinet and sax, George Colligan on piano, Marvin Sewell on guitar and Michael Mondesir on bass. Jack is celebrating his 70th birthday with a national tour and it is wonderful that Jazzlines and Birmingham are part of it. Jack is one of the greatest drummers of all time having worked with Miles Davis on various albums notably the seminal Bitches Brew and is now a member of the Keith Jarrett Trio. He is also a great bandleader and his Special Edition groups in the 1970s and 80s were some of the most influential of their time.
The very successful Jazz Club series at the Hare & Hounds continues, with a double bill on Wednesday 28 November featuring Trio VD and Threenil. Trio VD are a band that draws together all kinds of different elements from jazz, free improve, rock and are amazing in a live context. Threenil led by Jazzlines Trio drummer Ric Yarborough is a band in the spirit of Trio VD. At The Jam House on Tuesday 13 November, Chris Bowden leads his quartet with Steve Tromans on keys.
We are also supporting the concert at the A E Harris Building on Thursday 22 November with the Decibel Ensemble led by composer Ed Bennett; Ed has written and recorded a special piece that features Paul Dunmall on saxophones. It’s an amazingly powerful piece that really brings out the strength of Dunmall’s playing.
Coming up on Saturday 1 December at the CBSO Centre is The Impossible Gentlemen with Gwilym Simcock, Mike Walker, Steve Swallow and Adam Nussbaum. More on that next time! Dont forget we love to have comments back from you, either about previous gigs or about the forthcoming programme – you can feedback using the Disqus function below or using the hashtag #jazzlines on Twitter.
– Tony Dudley-Evans, Jazzlines Adviser