Clifford Brown, the trumpet player known to his friends as "Brownie," was born this date in 1930 in Wilmington, Del. During his brief time in the spotlight, Brown became a major stylistic influence on every trumpeter player who followed him. Brown co-led a brilliant quintet with drummer Max Roach for three years before tragedy cut short his career, and his life, in June 1956. He was 25 when he died in a car crash during a rainstorm on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Pianist Richie Powell and Powell's wife, Nancy, also died in the accident.
Saxophonist and record producer Teo Macero, best known for his work on Miles Davis's finest albums, was born this day in 1925 in Glens Falls, N.Y. He began his long association as Davis's producer in 1957, and the relationship lasted into the 1980s.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene, guitarist John Scofield's quartet is at Iridium all week. His Wednesday night show will be broadcast live on WBGO-FM in Newark, N.J. Pianist Cyrus Chestnut's trio is at the Village Vanguard tonight through Sunday. Trumpeter Chuck Mangione brings his Feels So Good jazz/pop band into the Blue Note tonight through Sunday. Singer Nora York is at the Knitting Factory with her quintet tonight. Juan Carlos Formell's Cuban Jazz band is at the Zinc Bar tonight and Wednesday. Saxophonist Sheila Cooper is at the Sugar Bar tonight. The Duke Ellington Orchestra, now directed by trombonist Jack Jeffers, is at Birdland tonight.
The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra makes its debut tonight at Alice Tully Hall featuring guest artists Wynton Marsalis and Victor Goines. The student unit, a high profile, post-graduate experience for emerging musicians, will perform varied repertoire from early through newly composed works throughout the season.
In and around Boston, guitarist Garrison Fewell's quartet with George Cables, Steve LaSpina and Joe Hunt is at the Regattabar in Cambridge tonight. Singers Krisanthi Pappas and Sharon DiFonzo team up for a night of jazz vocals at Scullers in Boston to benefit the Faulkner Breast Cancer Research Fund. Guitarist Torben Walforff's band, featuring trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, is at Ryles in Cambridge tonight. Jensen is also featured this afternoon in a free Brass Department clinic at her alma mater, Boston's Berklee College of Music.
The University of Pittsburgh opens its 31st Annual Jazz Seminar and Concert series tonight with a free jazz film screening tonight. An all-star concert on Saturday night will feature Jon Faddis, Cecil Bridgewater, Charles McPherson, James Moody, Joe Lovano, Mark Whitfield, David Baker, Kirk Lightsey, Abraham Laboriel, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Pitt Jazz Studies program director Nathan Davis. Several participating musicians will visit community centers and Pittsburgh schools during the week.
The Tom Allport Big Band is at The Bird of Paradise in Ann Arbor, Mich., tonight.
On the Chicago jazz scene, tenor saxophonist Benny Golson's quartet opens a weeklong run tonight at the Jazz Showcase. Jimmy Sutton's Four Charms are at the Green Mill tonight. Phil Mosberg, Jerome Bryerton, Shawn Summer and Medium Pulp are at HotHouse. Franz Jackson and his Jazz Entertainers are at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium tonight. Chicago tenor sax legend Von Freeman leads the pro jam at the New Apartment Lounge tonight.
In New Orleans tonight, drummer James Alsanders Jazz Project is at the Funky Butt. Pete Fountain leads the charge Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at his club in the New Orleans Hilton. The ReBirth Brass Band is at he Maple Leaf tonight. Trumpeter Gregg Stafford leads the Preservation Hall Band tonight. The John Mahoney Big Band is at Snug Harbor.
The 19th annual San Francisco Jazz Festival shines a bright spotlight tonight on one of the Bay Area's musical treasures. A Palace of Fine Arts concert will celebrate the legacy of bassist Vernon Alley. He will receive the festival's 2001 SFJazz Beacon Award for playing a vital role in preserving the traditions and encouraging the growth of jazz in the Bay Area.
San Francisco jazz greats paying homage tonight include including saxophonist Noel Jewkes and trumpeter Allen Smith. Through the years, Alley's musical affiliations included stints with the Lionel Hampton, Count Basie and Duke Ellington orchestras. He also led his own series of groups, has hosted jazz shows on radio and TV and served on San Francisco's Human Rights and Arts Commissions.
Elsewhere on the California jazz scene, pianist Ahmad Jamal's trio is at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight through Sunday. The Terry Becker band is at Café Caracas in Berkeley. Bamboleo is at Yoshi's in Oakland.
Pianist Keith Jarrett's trio with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette is at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, tonight.
On the recording front...
-- Trumpeter Chris Botti, a sideman in Sting's band in recent years, makes his label debut on Columbia with a new release out today called "Night Sessions." It features singer Shawn Colvin, who lends her folk-pop voice to a previously unrecorded Sting original called "All Would Envy." Other collaborators include bassists Christian McBride and Jimmy Johnson, drummers Vinnie Colaiuta and Abe Laboriel Jr., and pianists Billy Childs and Jeff Lorber. This is Botti's fourth recording as a leader.
-- Columbia Legacy is also out with "Grazing in the Grass: The Best of Hugh Masekela." It's a compilation of 14 tunes recorded by the South African trumpeter between the 1950s and 1990s. Many are newly recorded versions. Three of those -- "Khawuleza," "Strawberries," and "Thanayi" -- are songs associated with singers Miriam Makeba and Harry Belafonte, who helped give Masekela a career boost that led to his breakthrough with "Grazing in the Grass," a No. 1 pop and R&B hit in 1968.
-- Verve has released "A Night With Verve," a four-CD boxed set that showcases the romantic side of jazz music. Its mix of current artists and legends includes tracks by Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Chet Baker, Lester Young, Dinah Washington, Bill Evans, Shirley Horn, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, Stan Getz, Mark Whitfield, Diana Krall, Kenny Burrell, Abbey Lincoln and Cannonball Adderley.
-- Koch Jazz has revived George Shearing's Sheba label from the early 1970s and has begun to reissue some of those seven projects. They include a 1971 solo piano project by Shearing called "Out of This World" and vocal collaboration called "The Heart and Soul of Joe Williams and George Shearing." Future releases will include several releases of unissued tracks, most of them that had been planned for an album that Shearing -- a colossal punster -- intended to call "These are a Fugue of My Favorite Strings."
-- Stretch Records is out with a double-trouble recording by drummer Dave Weckl called "The Zone." The first disc is a compilation from his three prior Stretch releases plus two tracks that had been available only in Japan. The second disc is a DVD sampler containing highlights from his instructional videos.