Art Tatum, the man credited by virtually all jazz piano players as a major influence was born today in 1909 in Toledo, Ohio. He has been called the greatest virtuoso to play jazz on any instrument. Tatum was so revered that when he walked into a jam session, other players would say: "God is in the house" and surrender the piano. He was a master of harmonic substitutions that inspired the modernists who came decades later. He died in 1956 but left a rich legacy of recorded music.
Vibes player and bandleader Terry Gibbs was born this day in 1924 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Ray Brown, one of the most inventive and melodic soloists ever to pick up the upright bass, was born this day in 1926 in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Alto saxophonist Lee Konitz was born this day in 1927 in Chicago.
Tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, a player whose sound blends the musical and spiritual, was born this day in 1940 in Little Rock, Ark.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene, pianist James Hurt's "Project Melodique" is at The Jazz Gallery tonight. Singer Kendra Shank performs this afternoon at Java'n'Jazz. James Spaulding and Benny Powell perform tonight in the jazz faculty concert series at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. The Electro-Acoustic Composers, the Dave Tronzo-Chris Dahlgren quartet, the Michael Egbert Quartet, James Williams and the Darren Lyons Group perform in the Knitting Factory's various performance stages, nooks and crannies tonight. Flora Purim and Airto Moreira perform tonight at the Music Hall in Tarrytown, N.Y.
On the Boston area jazz scene, Rebecca Parris is at the Regattabar in Cambridge tonight. The Berklee College of Music's holds its seventh annual Encore Gala and silent auction tonight at the Harvard Club of Boston. Berklee will transform the venue into a humming entertainment complex with nine nightclubs, featuring performances by more than 100 of the college's top student and faculty musicians as well as surprise guests. Former faculty member Al Kooper is scheduled to perform with the Funky Faculty, a group of top Berklee faculty members.
Singer Karrin Allyson is at Zanzibar Blue in Philadelphia tonight.
Saxophonist David Sanchez's Melaza sextet tour stops at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., tonight and Sunday.
Laurie Lefevre is at The Bird of Paradise in Ann Arbor, Mich., tonight and Sunday.
Trumpeter and artistic director Wynton Marsalis leads the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra tonight at Cleveland's Allen Theater as part of the band's autumn tour.
On the Chicago jazz scene, saxophonist Von Freeman's quintet performs in the Jazz at Five series at Andy's tonight. Bopology is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. Danilo Perez and his Motherland Project are at the Jazz Showcase.
On the New Orleans jazz scene, the Marc Adams trio is at Cobalt tonight. New Orleans Streetbeat is at the Crescent City Brewhouse. Trumpeter Leroy Jones's quintet is at Donna's. Jeremy Davenport's band is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. The Bob O'Rourke Superband is at the French Market Complex this afternoon. The ReBirth Brass Band is at Le Bon Temps Roule tonight. Bonearama holds a CD release party at the Old Point Bar in Algiers. Pete Fountain is in the spotlight at his club in the New Orleans Hilton. Topsy Chapman and John Boutte will sing at Snug Harbor.
In California, Acoustic Alchemy is at the Avalon Casino Ballroom in Avalon tonight. The Larry Vuckovich Trio with Pete Magadini and Kash Killion is at Spiedo Ristorante in San Jose. Marian McPartland's trio is at Yoshi's in Oakland tonight and for matinee and evening performances on Sunday. Trumpeter Chris Botti is at Kimball's East in Emeryville tonight. In San Francisco, singer-pianist Patricia barber is at the Noe Valley Ministry, the Post Junk Trio is at the Black Cat and Blue Bar. The Don Alberts duo is at the Cypress Club and the Paul Vorn Hagen quintet is at Pearl's tonight.
Author Luc Delannoy will present the Spanish version of his book "Caliente! Una historia del jazz latino" on Saturday and Sunday at the Latino Book Festival at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The Elliott Caine quartet will perform during the presentation.