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Finding time for a little jazz; JAZZDIARY.

After the most impressive first Mostly Jazz Festival last weekend - a festival Birmingham can justly be proud of - it's back to more conventional festival jazz this week.

The Lichfield Festival has always put the accent on classical music, but it manages to fit a little jazz in, and this year, in addition to the bigger names, there is a late evening, nocharge series featuring Birmingham's fine young players from the Cobweb Collective.

It's called Sundown Jazz in the hope that a setting sun might be visible from the courtyard of the George IV pub in Bore Street, Lichfield, at 9.30pm on Friday and every evening next week.

The Cobweb Collective comprises nearly exclusively graduates from Birmingham Conservatoire's jazz course, young musicians who have decided to resist that London lure and keep making music in the Midlands. And a very talented lot they are, boasting such bandleaders as trumpeter/bassist Percy Pursglove and bassist Chris Mapp.

On Friday, Trio 21 takes the stage, and the rest of the week's line-up through the festival is Jim Wynn Trio (Monday), Percy Pursglove Quartet (Tuesday), Matt Ratcliffe Trio (Wednesday), Rob Anstey Quartet (next Thursday), Lluis Mather Quartet (next Friday) and Chris Mapp Quintet (next Saturday).

More formal ticketed gigs at Lichfield in the coming week include singer Claire Martin with her old sparring partner, the pianist, singer and lord of the realm, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, and the vibrant Latin jazz pianist Alex Wilson and his Salsa Reloaded or Salsatak band (it depends which publicity you read).

Martin and Bennett have proved a huge hit at sophisticated clubs like the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan, and this is their second appearance at the Lichfield Festival in the last five years. Their take on the classic songs from the American Songbook is witty, classy and pretty near peerless. They are at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre at 8pm on Friday. Tickets are pounds 18.

Alex Wilson is a busy man and, in amongst jazz and writing for kora and string quartet, he has managed to get a new Salsa project on the tour bus. They aim to lift the Lichfield Garrick Theatre roof next Thursday. Spicy trombones and hot Latin vocals are promised, and Wilson always sets the piano alight. Starting time is also 8pm, and tickets are pounds 16. Booking for both is on 01543 412121 and at lichfieldfestival.org Pleased to see the Birmingham International Jazz Festival programme is out at last, and there seems to be even more going on this year. Big names this time around are guitarist extraordinaire Martin Taylor, and US alto player Greg Abate. And the one I am looking forward to most is James Morton's Porkchop.

Peter Bacon Blogger Fiona Handscomb has a round-up of Mostly Jazz at birminghampost.net/handscomb
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 8, 2010
Words:463
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