Trombonist Wilbur DeParis was born this day in 1900 in Crawfordsville, Ind. He began his musical career around age 12, playing in tent shows and carnival bands. He had several bands of his own, including his "New" New Orleans Band, formed in 1947, after two years with Duke Ellington. He died in 1973.
Saxophonist Tab Smith was born this day in 1911 in Kinston, N.C. He joined Lucky Millinder's band in New York in 1936, then spent some time in the Basie band before forming his own small groups that worked into the early 1960s. He died in 1971.
Jazz drummer and arranger Osie Johnson was born in Washington, D.C., on this day in 1923. From the mid-1950s, he worked principally as a session musician in television and recording studios in New York. Johnson wrote a number of arrangements for singer Dinah Washington. They included "Fool That I Am" and "It's Too Soon to Know." He died in 1966.
On this day in 1939, the first Metronome All-Star session was recorded. Those sides, "Blue Lou" and "The Blues," featured Bunny Berigan, Harry James and Benny Goodman. That first recording session, at 1 a.m., came about through the sponsorship of Metronome magazine. The music magazine ran an annual poll of readers' favorite instrumentalists and bands starting in 1939 and continuing until it ceased publication in 1961. In most years through 1956, the individual winners were assembled for Metronome All-Stars recording sessions that documented prevailing styles and tastes in jazz.
The Prestige label, founded by Bob Weinstock, cut its first record on this date in 1949. The release was saxophonist Lee Konitz's "Progression."
Looking at today's hip happenings...
The National Endowment for the Arts will present its annual American Jazz Masters Awards tonight to bassist Percy Heath, saxophonist Frank Foster and pianist McCoy Tyner. The honors and $20,000 stipends for lifetime achievement in jazz will take place at the 29th annual International Association for Jazz Education conference, which is going on in Long Beach, Calif., through Saturday. Tonight's awards concert will feature performances by Dave Brubeck's quartet, Gary Burton and Makoto Ozone, singer Dee Dee Bridgewater with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and Alex Acuna and Justo Almario's Tolu project.
On the New York jazz scene, bassist Buster Williams' quartet with saxophonist Javon Jackson, pianist Eric Reed and drummer Lenny White is at the Village Vanguard. Bassist Christian McBride's quartet featuring Geoff Keezer, Ron Blake and Terreon Gulley is at Iridium through Sunday. Guitarist Jim Hall's trio is at Birdland for two more nights. The Knitting Factory's lineup tonight includes a quartet featuring bassist Mario Pavone, trumpeter Steven Bernstein, saxophonist Tony Malaby and drummer Michael Sarin, as well as Arnold Hammerschlag's acoustic quartet. The latter will perform his compositions that muddy the boundaries between jazz, improvised, new and classical music. Pianist Jean-Michel Pilc's trio is at The Jazz Gallery tonight and Saturday.
On the Boston area jazz scene, singer Kevin Mahogany is special guest with Kendrick Oliver and the New Life Jazz Orchestra at Scullers jazz club in Boston tonight. Jimmy Smith is at the House of Blues in Cambridge tonight and Saturday.
Saxophonists Greg Abate and Dick Johnson team up tonight at Chan's in Woonsocket, R.I.
The Mark Kramer quartet featuring Jeannie Brooks is at Zanzibar Blue in Philadelphia tonight and Saturday.
On the New Orleans jazz scene. guitarist John Bagnatto is at the Columns tonight. The Potholes Brass band is at Donna's. Ingrid Lucia sings with swing at El Matador. Trumpeter Jeremy Davenport is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Quintology is at the Funky Butt. Social Lubricant is at Nacho Mama's. Singer Thais Clark brings her New Orleans Jazzmen into the Palm Court. Pete Fountain plays his clarinet in his club in the New Orleans Hilton. Trumpeter Leroy Jones leads the band at Preservation Hall tonight. The Russell Batiste Orchestra is at the Red Room. Pianist Ellis Marsalis is at Snug Harbor. Clarinetist Tim Laughlin and singer Marva Wright are in the spotlight tonight at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor. The Poor Clares present jazz with Irish twist this afternoon at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.
On the California jazz scene, trumpeter Russell Gunn's nonet, Ethnomusicology, is at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles through Sunday. The Charles Lloyd quartet featuring pianist Geri Allen is at The Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood tonight through Sunday. d'Bop, featuring Terrel Eaton, is at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz tonight. Singer Karrin Allyson is at Steamers Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight and Saturday. Yoshi's in Oakland presents its 11th annual blues harmonica blowout tonight and Saturday. In San Francisco... Wesla Whitfield and Mike Greensill are at The Plush Room, while Jazz at Pearl's in North Beach presents the Mark Wright-Graham Bruce quintet in a "two trumpets" tribute to the music of pianist Bud Powell tonight and Saturday.
Bassist John Patitucci's band is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle for three more nights.