Drummer Art Blakey was born this day in 1919 in Pittsburgh. He became a one-man jazz university during his long and productive career. Blakey's band, The Jazz Messengers, became a training ground for many future bandleaders, including Jackie McLean, Johnny Griffin, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Chuck Mangione, James Williams and Wynton Marsalis. Art Blakey died in 1990, a week after his 71st birthday.
Drummer Billy Higgins was born this day in 1936 in Los Angeles. In addition to playing with a veritable who's who in jazz, he played an important role as a jazz educator in Los Angeles until his death earlier this year.
Trumpeter Lester Bowie was born this day in 1941 in Frederick, Md. The versatile co-founder of the Art Ensemble of Chicago was also an adventurer with his own Brass Fantasy band.
On this day in 1939, Coleman Hawkins first recorded "Body and Soul." It became his most famous solo. It also set the standard for the reworking of popular ballads by tenor saxophonists.
On this day in 1953, Clifford Brown recorded his first big band album in Paris after hours while touring with an all-star aggregation led by Lionel Hampton.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene, Jazz at Lincoln Center's "Duets on the Hudson" series opens its new season tonight with two pairings: alto saxophonist Lee Konitz and drummer Paul Motian, and accordionist Richard Galliano and violinist Mark Feldman. They perform at the Kaplan Penthouse through Saturday night.
Singer Carla White's guitar trio is joined by special guest Ken Peplowski at Birdland tonight. Bassist Omer Avital's group is at The Jazz Gallery tonight. Bassist Ray Brown's weeklong 75th birthday celebration continues with special guest Dee Dee Bridgewater at the Blue Note. Singer Stacey Kent is at the Algonquin Hotel's Oak Room. The Bill Frisell quartet is at the Village Vanguard. Trombonist Chris Washburne's SYOTOS band is at the Nuyorican Poet's Café tonight.
In and around Boston, saxophonist David Sanchez's Melaza sextet tour is at Scullers jazz club tonight and Friday. Singer Patrice Williamson's group is at the Regattabar in Cambridge. The Jacques Chanier trio is at Ryles in Cambridge tonight. The annual ``Autumn Uprising'' of exploratory new music stretches out at the Institute of Contemporary Art.
Baritone saxophonist Claire Daly is featured tonight with pianist Billy Taylor's trio in his Jazz at the Kennedy Center series in Washington, D.C.
Singer Allan Harris is at the Jazz Corner in Hilton Head, S.C., tonight through Saturday.
Tenor saxophonist John Stubblefield is in the spotlight tonight at The Bird of Paradise in Ann Arbor, Mich.
On the Chicago jazz scene, trumpeter Dave Douglas's Witness Ensemble performs tonight at the Chicago Cultural Center's Claudia Cassidy Theater, where admission is free. Pianist Danilo Perez's band is at the Jazz Showcase. The Typhanie Monique Trio is at the California Clipper. Alan Gresik's Swing Shift Orchestra is at the Green Mill tonight. Erwin Helfer and the Chicago Boogie Ensemble are at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. Pianist Marshall Vente's trio is at the Fairmont Hotel's Metropole Room tonight and Friday.
In New Orleans tonight, the Manabu Sakei jazz trio and Storm Watch are at Checkpoint Charlie. Trumpeter Leon Brown's quintet is at Donna's. Los Tres Amigos are at Dos Jefes Uptown Cigar Bar. Rob Wagner is at t he Dragon's Den. The Joe Krown Organ Combo is at the Funky Butt. The Soul Rebels Brass Band is at Le Bon Temps Roule. Bonearama is featured in tonight's taping of "Louisiana Jukebox" at the Jazzland Theme Park. The Joe Schlesinger trio is at Loyola University's Danna Center. The Al Belletto sextet is at Snug Harbor. Tricia "Sista Teedy" Boutte is at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor. The Treme Brass Band is at Sweet Lorraine's. Kermit Ruffins and his Barbecue Swingers are at Vaughn's.
On the California jazz scene, the Bobby Hutcherson quartet is at the Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood. Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, Roy Hargrove, John Patitucci and Brian Blade bring their Directions in Music tour to the University of Southern California's Bovard Auditorium tonight. The Susan Krebs quartet is at Steamers Jazz Café in Fullerton. Marian McPartland's trio is at Yoshi's in Oakland through Sunday.
In San Francisco tonight, the Frank Jackson duo is at the Cypress Club, Jack West and Curvature are at 19 Broadway, and Ron Graham is at Peal's with the Vince Lateano Trio. Singer Ledisi is at Café du Norde with the band Anibade.