Today is Dec. 28.
Earl Hines, one of the pianists who helped shape the history of jazz, was born this day in 1903 in Duquesne, Pa. His level of rhythmic and melodic invention was so influential that other musicians nicknamed him "Fatha." After mastering the stride and ragtime piano techniques, Hines expanded the piano's scope in jazz with a series of historic recordings with Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven bands in the late 1920s.
Saxophonist Al Klink was born this day in 1915 in Danbury, Conn. He performed and recorded early in his career with Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman. He was featured in the saxophone duet on Miller's big 1939 hit "In The Mood."
Drummer Ed Thigpen was born this day in Chicago in 1930, the son of swing drummer Ben Thigpen. His most important musical alliances have been with Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald.
Pianist Michel Petrucciani was born this day in 1962 in Montpelier, France. While born with a rare bone disease that prevented him from growing to adult size, Petrucciani began playing jazz professionally at age 15. He died in 1999 at age 36.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene, pianist James Hurt brings his Trance-Dance project into the Jazz Gallery tonight and Saturday. Pianist McCoy Tyner's trio plays the music of John Coltrane through Sunday. The Cedar Walton quartet is at the Village Vanguard for three more nights. Pianist Franck Amsallem's trio is at the Knitting Factory tonight. Danny Mixon Organ trio featuring singer Toni Hamilton is at the Lenox Lounge in Harlem tonight and Saturday. Lew Anderson's All-American Big Band warms things up with an evening set at Birdland before the Dave Liebman group hits the stage.
Guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli is at Trumpets in Montclair, N.J., tonight and Saturday.
On the Boston area jazz scene, saxophonist Joshua Redman's quartet is at the Regattabar in Cambridge through Sunday. Chuck Loeb and Kim Waters perform tonight and Saturday at Scullers jazz club in Boston.
Saxophonist Joshua Smith, bassist Jeremy Bleich and drummer Joe Tomino perform tonight at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland.
In Chicago tonight, guitarist Henry Johnson's quartet is at The Jazz Showcase with special guest Red Holloway. Katherine Davis is in the spotlight at Andy's. Carmen Stokes is at the Backroom. Tenor saxophonists Von Freeman and Ed Petersen go head to head tonight and Saturday at the Green Mill. Skinny Williams is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium on the Navy Pier tonight. The Dave Hildebrandt trio is at Pops for Champagne. The Greg Ward quartet is at the Velvet Lounge.
On the New Orleans jazz scene, trumpeter Jeremy Davenport is in the spotlight tonight at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Devin Philips and the New Orleans Nightcrawlers Brass Band are at the Funky Butt. Trumpeter Leroy Jones leads the band at Preservation Hall tonight. Kermit Ruffins and his Barbecue Swingers are at the Red Room. Trumpeter Nicholas Payton's band is at Snug Harbor. Clarinetist Tim Laughlin leads the jam at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor before singer Tricia "Sista Teedy" Boutte takes over. Bleu Orleans is at The Line. John Mooney and The North Mississippi All-Stars are at Tipitina's.
The first Desert Big Band and Jazz Party opens its three-night run tonight at the Riviera Resort in Palm Springs, Calif., Loren Schoenberg conducts the Desert Big Band tonight in a history of big band jazz concert featuring the music of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman and Stan Kenton with soloists Ken Peplowski, Howard Alden and Eddie Bert. Other headliners this weekend include Rob McConnell and his Boss Brass, drummer Frank Capp's Juggernaut with a tribute to Count Basie. Other performances will feature the Dave Pell octet, the latest edition of the Lighthouse All-Stars, the Rob McConnell tentet, Tierney Sutton, Ernie Watts, Gary Foster, Rickey Woodard, Bill Cunliffe, Mike Melvoin, Jeff Hamilton and Holly Hofmann.
Elsewhere on the California jazz scene, Susie Hansen's Latin jazz quartet performs tonight at the Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles. The Jane Monheit quintet is at the Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood. The Jennifer York quartet is at Steamer's Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight. Aria Hendricks is at the Spiedo Ristorante in San Jose with Larry Vuckovich, Nat Johnson and Danny Spencer. The Afro Cuban Jazz Masters are at Yoshi's in Oakland. Frank Jackson is at the Cypress Club and Wesla Whitfield and Mike Greensill are at The Plush Room in San Francisco tonight.