Today is Dec. 24.
Baby Dodds, the quintessential New Orleans drummer, was born on this day in 1898. He was the younger brother of clarinetist and bandleader Johnny Dodds. Warren "Baby" Dodds made his first recordings with King Oliver in Chicago in 1923 and recorded several historic sides with Jelly Roll Morton ("Billy Goat Stomp") and Louis Armstrong ("Wild Man Blues"). He died in 1959.
Trumpeter and vocalist Jabbo Smith was born this date in 1908 in Pembroke, Ga. He was an early proponent of the stratospheric lead trumpet sound that Roy Eldridge soon developed into an art form.
Bebop trumpeter Woody Shaw was born this day in 1944 in Laurinburg, N.C. He was a mainstay in the bands of Eric Dolphy, Horace Silver and McCoy Tyner. He died in May 1989, three months after being hit by a subway train in New York.
Pianist Ray Bryant was born this day in 1931 in Philadelphia. Work as house pianist at Philly's Blue Note club led to recordings with Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Carmen McRae, Coleman Hawkins and to a busy career both as a trio leader and soloist.
On this day in 1944, the music world mourned Glenn Miller. The military announced that Miller, director of the U-S Army Air Force Band, was missing on a flight from England that took off for Paris nine days earlier. Gone was the leader of one of the greatest Swing Era bands, which packed dance halls and hotel ballrooms from coast to coast during the 1940s. The Glenn Miller Orchestra earned the industry's first gold record for "Chattanooga Choo Choo" in 1942.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
The New England Jazz Alliance has selected the first inductees in its Jazz Hall of Fame. For this first round, voters were asked to limit their choices to deceased musicians who either were born or lived in New England.
The first inductees are saxophonists Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Paul Gonsalves, Serge Chaloff and Sonny Stitt, drummers Alan Dawson and Tony Williams, cornetist Bobby Hackett and pianists Jaki Byard and Sabby Lewis.
Their legacies will be celebrated beginning April 1, 2002, when a New England Jazz Hall of Fame exhibit opens and a month-long concert series begins at the Tremont Theater in Boston. The first week will include the Herb Pomeroy Quartet, a tribute to Gonsalves by Andy McGhee, and a Sonny Stitt tribute featuring saxophonists Dick Johnson and Greg Abate.
On the New York jazz scene, pianist Rachel Z's trio makes its Blue Note debut tonight. Trumpeter Ray Vega's Latin jazz sextet is at Rhone tonight. The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra is at the Village Vanguard.
In Chicago, singer-pianist Patricia Barber's Monday night home is the Green Mill, where she has been packing in crowds for more than a decade. Yoko Noge's Jazz Me Blues Band is at HotHouse. Katherine Davis is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium.
On the New Orleans jazz scene, trumpeter Reginald Koeller leads the band at Preservation Hall tonight. Kermit Ruffins and his Barbecue Swingers are at the Red Room. The Jazz Vipers are at the Spotted Cat. Brian Seeger's Jazz Hang is at the Stationhouse Grill.
In California tonight, the Renegade Sidemen are at Anna's Place in Berkeley. The Contemporary Jazz Orchestra is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco.
Soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy's trio is at Duc des Lombards in Paris tonight through Wednesday.