Today is Jan. 5.
Cornetist Wild Bill Davison was born this day in 1906 in Defiance, Ohio. For most of the 1930s, Davison played traditional jazz in Milwaukee. It was in the beer capital of America that Davison almost saw his career ended by a lip injury in 1939 when a flying beer mug hit him in the mouth. He recovered, and within two years moved east and began making his mark on the New York jazz scene. Davison was a prolific recording artist and performer until his death in 1989.
Clarinetist Joe Marsala was born in 1907 in Chicago. In the 1970s, he made some terrific late-career recordings with cornetist Bobby Hackett and singer Tony Bennett.
Trumpeter Dizzy Reece was born this day in 1931 in Kingston, Jamaica.
Drummer and longtime Pat Metheny sideman Paul Wertico was born this day in 1953 in Chicago.
On this day in 1937, trumpeter Harry James signed on with the Benny Goodman band. He only stayed two years, but in that short time became the finest trumpet soloist Goodman ever had. In 1939, James left to form his own band.
This was also the day, in 1979, when bass player, visionary composer and bandleader Charles Mingus died in Cuernevaca, Mexico. He was 56. Suffering from Lou Gehrig's Disease, Mingus went to Mexico to seek help from a local healer. On the day he was cremated, newspapers reported that 56 whales were discovered beached along Mexico's shoreline and were burned.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene, 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. Regina Belle is at the Blue Note this week. Guitarist Peter Bernstein's quartet is at Birdland tonight through Saturday. The band includes Larry Goldings on organ and Bill Stewart on bass. Pianist Shoko Nagai's quintet with tenor saxophonist Greg Tardy, trumpeter Jordan McLean, bassist Dave Heretzberg and percussionist Satoshi Takeshi is at the Knitting Factory tonight.
Drummer Cindy Blackman, on a break from touring with Lenny Kravitz, brings her jazz band into the Van Dyck in Schenectady, N.Y., tonight.
In New Orleans tonight, trumpeter Leroy Jones' quintet is at Donna's. Have Soul Will Travel is in the Dragon's Den. Lionel Ferbos leads the Palm Court Jazz Band at the Palm Court. Wendell Brunious leads the band at Preservation Hall. The Richie Moten trio is at the Royal Sonesta Hotel's Mystick Den. Clarinetist Alvin Batiste is at Snug Harbor with his band. Clarinetist Tim Laughlin leads the early evening jazz jam and singer John Boutte heats up the night stage at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor.
On the California jazz scene, Oscar Brown Jr. and Billy Childs are at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight through Sunday. Saxophonist Charles Lloyd teams up with pianist Geri Allen tonight through Sunday at Yoshi's in Oakland. The Jazz Crusaders featuring Wayne Henderson, Wilton Felder and Bobby Lyle are at the Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood tonight. Don Alberts is at the Cypress Club in San Francisco. The Banda Brothers bring their Latin jazz band into Steamers Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight.