Today is Jan. 4.
Saxophonist Frank Wess was born this day in 1922 in Kansas City. In addition to being a top tenor player, the Basie band veteran is also one of the premiere flute players in jazz.
Guitarist John McLaughlin was born this day in Yorkshire, England, in 1942. Early in his career, he made major contributions to two of trumpeter Miles Davis's influential fusion albums, "In a Silent Way" and "Bitches Brew."
Singer and multi-instrumentalist Slim Gaillard was born this day in 1916 in Detroit. He is best remembered for his jive talk duet with bassist Slam Stewart in the late 1930s, and their huge hit "Flat Foot Floogie."
Trumpeter Frankie Newton was born this day in 1906 in Emory, Va. Having no hits of his own, he was somewhat neglected in the trumpet legacy. But Newton recorded four classics with Bessie Smith (including the tune "Do Your Duty"). He also played on Billie Holiday's finest recording of "Strange Fruit."
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene, guitarist Peter Bernstein's quartet is at Birdland tonight and Saturday. The band includes Larry Goldings on organ and Bill Stewart on bass. Birdland also features an early evening performance by Lew Anderson's All-American Big Band. Clarinetist Michael White's Original Liberty Jazz Band of New Orleans is at the Village Vanguard through Sunday. Pianist Eliane Elias's trio is at Iridium through Sunday. Saxophonist Steve Wilson's quartet performs tonight at the Museum of Modern Art. Drummer Louis Hayes brings his Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band with alto saxophonist Vincent Herring into the Up Over Jazz Café in Brooklyn tonight and Saturday. Regina Belle is at the Blue Note for three more nights.
Tenor saxophonists Ralph Lalama is special guest tonight with drummer Joe Barna's quartet at the Van Dyck in Schenectady, N.Y.
Pianist Barry Harris's trio is at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago through Sunday. Skinny Williams is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium tonight.
In New Orleans tonight, guitarist John Bagnatto is at the Columns. The Treme Brass Band is at Donna's. Ingrid Lucia sings at El Matador. Trumpeter Jeremy Davenport is in the spotlight at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. The New Orleans Night Crawlers Brass Band is at the Funky Butt. Bon French is at Le Meridien Hotel. Thais Clark and her New Orleans Jazzmen are at the Palm Court. Trumpeter Leroy Jones leads the band at Preservation Hall. Pianist Ellis Marsalis is at Snug Harbor. Singer John Boutte is at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor.
On the California jazz scene, trombonist Bill Watrous's quartet, featuring pianist Shelly Berg, is at Steamers Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight. Frank Jackson is at the Cypress Club in San Francisco. Saxophonist Charles Lloyd and pianist Geri Allen are featured at Yoshi's in Oakland through Sunday. The Jazz Crusaders featuring Wayne Henderson, Wilton Felder and Bobby Lyle are at the Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood for two more nights.
Saxophonist George Robert's quartet is at The Cellar in Vancouver, Canada, tonight and Saturday.