This was on Friday 27 September from 7pm for just an hour (plus encore!) with the idea that the gig would be a really focused set of top big band music. Fat Chops really delivered on this with a nice range of material and some excellent soloing. The next event in The Hour series will be on Thursday 7 November with Walsall Jazz Orchestra, starting again at 7pm.
We are particularly looking forward to Liam Noble’s quintet Brother Face performing at mac tomorrow, Tuesday 8 October. Liam writes great material and is a very inventive pianist; his latest venture, this band featuring Shabaka Hutchings on sax and Chris Batchelor on trumpet as well long associates, Dave Whitford on bass and Dave Wickens on drums, is one of his best projects yet. Liam has been writing a very interesting blog about the tour so far – worth a read.
In a co-promotion with Birmingham Conservatoire we are presenting one of the leading saxophonists on the New York scene, Greg Osby who is touring with the Aruan Ortiz & Michael Janisch Quintet. Greg has recorded a number of seminal albums on the Blue Note record label and is now a regular visitor to UK having established a strong professional relationship with Michael.
Next up is David Murray, one of the world’s finest tenor saxophonists and no fool on the lovely bass clarinet. He’s touring with his Infinity Quartet and comes to the CBSO Centre Birmingham on Friday 18 October. David was always a great friend of the late Andy Hamilton and came over from Paris, where he is now living, for Andy’s funeral and memorial concert last year. In memory of that friendship and in tribute to Andy, the concert will open with a set from the community big band that Andy established, The Notebenders.
On Saturday 26 September at mac we celebrate a big birthday for Paul Dunmall with a special commission. Actually Paul’s birthday was earlier in the year, but the tour that we’ve set up works better in the autumn! Paul will be playing with two groups, his Resolution Trio with Nick Jurd on bass and Jim Bashford on drums and a new sextet for which Paul has written a new suite of music commissioned by Jazzlines. All the players in the band are part of the current very lively Birmingham scene with Percy Pursglove on trumpet, Paul on tenor sax, Mike Fletcher on alto sax, Mike Hurley on piano, Chris Mapp on bass and Mark Sanders on drums. After Birmingham the band travels to the Vortex Jazz Club in London and then to Newcastle.
Finally we have another major American saxophonist in town on Friday 11t October; Dave Binney who is touring with Mick Coady’s Synergy and playing the free entry session at Symphony Hall Café Bar at 5pm. This has come about as they are playing the Marsden Jazz Festival the next day and were looking to play on the way up. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear one of New York’s finest for free!
– Tony Dudley-Evans, Jazz Adviser