Pianist, singer and trumpeter Buck Washington was born this day in 1903 in Louisville, Ky. He was one half of the comedy and dance team "Buck and Bubbles" who worked the show and club scene from 1912 until 1953. Washington also recorded with Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins. He led the band that accompanied Bessie Smith on her final recording in 1933.
Trumpeter Roy Hargrove was born this day in 1969 in Waco, Texas. He began playing trumpet in an elementary school band and developed a strong musical foundation at the Dallas Arts Magnet High School, where Wynton Marsalis heard him play during a student clinic.
On this day in 1930, Lionel Hampton recorded his first solo on the vibes in a Los Angeles studio session with Louis Armstrong. Hampton was a drummer playing local club dates in L.A., when Armstrong hired him as a sideman then brought him into the studio. There was a set of vibes in the room and Armstrong asked Hampton if he could play them. Hampton was up to the challenge, and that was the first use of vibraphone on a jazz recording. The song was Eubie Blake's "Memories of You" and the instrument soon became Hampton's first choice.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene, saxophonist David Sanchez brings his Melaza sextet tour to the Village Vanguard tonight through Sunday. The Charlie Haden/Gonzalo Rubalcaba Nocturne quintet is at Iridium this week.
The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars with James Moody, Jon Faddis, Slide Hampton, Ed Cherry, Benny Green, John Lee and Dennis Mackrel are at the Blue Note this week. Paquito D'Rivera is featured guest tonight through Thursday, with Jackie McLean in the spotlight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
Drummer Billy Mintz's Two Bass Band is at the Knitting Factory tonight, featuring Dave Scott and Clay Jenkins on trumpets, Rich Perry and John O'Gallagher on saxophone; Rock Ciccerone and Jacob Gorchek on trombones and John Hebert and Cameron Brown on bass. The Duke Ellington Orchestra is at Birdland tonight. The Gino Sitson African Quartet is at the Zinc Bar tonight and Wednesday. Drummer Chico Hamilton holds a CD release performance tonight at Joe's Pub.
Saxophonist Ted Nash is featured musician tonight in jazz historian Arnold Jay Smith's "Jazz Insights" weekly discussion series at the New School. This term's focus is on the legacy of Charlie Parker.
The Jazz Journalists Association opens the first in its autumn series of "Jazz Matters" discussions tonight at the New School. Pianist-composer Vijay Iyer, Columbia University professor Farrah Griffin and veteran jazz journalist Yorker Lee Jeske will explore "Why Jazz Matters, How It Helps" in light of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in New York City and continuing international cross-cultural conflicts.
In and around Boston, Russ Freeman and The Rippingtons featuring Paul Taylor are at Scullers tonight and Wednesday. Jerry Bergonzi, Bruce Gertz and Bob Kaufman celebrate the release of their new Whaling City Sound CD, "The Line Between," with a performance tonight at the Acton Jazz Café.
Pianist McCoy Tyner's trio is at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., tonight.
Trombonist Steve Turre's quartet is at Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase in Chicago tonight.
On the New Orleans jazz scene, Rob Wagner's New Thing is at the Circle Bar. New Orleans Streetbeat is at the Crescent City Brewhouse. Tom Hook is at Dos Jefes Uptown Cigar Bar. Drummer James Alsanders' Jazz Project is at the Funky Butt. The ReBirth Brass Band is at the Maple Leaf. The John Mahoney Big Band is at Snug Harbor. The Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center's Creative Music Festival features Edward "Kidd" Jordan and Alvin Fielder tonight, along with the Peter Kowald tour documentary "Off The Road."
In California, the Monty Alexander trio is at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight through Sunday. Pianist Ahmad Jamal opens a weeklong run at Yoshi's in Oakland. Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker and Roy Hargrove bring their tour to Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley tonight.
The Terry Becker Band is at Café Caracas in Berkeley. Acoustic Alchemy is at the Last Day Saloon in Santa Rosa. The Jill Deweese quintet is at Steamers Jazz Café in Fullerton. Flora Purim and Airto Moreira are at the Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood tonight through Saturday.
In San Francisco, the Hot Club of San Francisco band is at Enrico's. The Mark Stock trio with Gary Rowe is at the Cypress Club. Realistic is at the Black Cat and Blue Bar. The Vince Lateano trio with Al Plank is at Pearl's tonight.
Soul Manifesto is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle tonight and Wednesday.
On the recording front...
-- The Columbia Legacy Jazz label is due to release South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela's "Grazing In The Grass: The Best Of Hugh Masekela" today.
-- The Indianola Music Group is out with "Intoxicate," the second jazz-meets-world music recording by pianist Michael Wolff and his band, Impure Thoughts. The band includes saxophonist Alex Foster, tabla player Badal Roy, bassist John B. Williams, drummer Victor Jones and percussionist Frank Colon. Charlie Hunter adds his 8-string guitar wizardry to a fresh exploration of Marvin Gaye's hit "Sexual Healing."
-- The Impulse label today releases "McCoy Tyner Plays John Coltrane." This live club recording was made four years ago at the Village Vanguard in New York, where the Coltrane quartet, featuring Tyner on piano, made some classic recordings in its own time.
-- "Discovery," a compilation of saxophonist Grover Washington Jr.'s first commercial recordings, is due out today from Prestige Records. Between Sept. 1970 and Aug. 1971, the 27-year-old saxophonist participated in a series of Prestige sessions led by organists Charles Earland, Leon Spencer and Johnny "Hammond" Smith and guitarists Boogaloo Joe Jones and Melvin Sparks. The next year, Washington recorded "Inner City Blues" (Kudu) under his own name, emerging as an influential jazz stylist.