Cornet player Bobby Hackett was born this day in 1915 in Providence, R.I. He also played trumpet, guitar, ukulele and banjo. With his translucent sound and elegant lines, he was known as the perfect accompanist for singers and other instrumentalists.
Hackett frequently worked during the 1940s as a sideman to Louis Armstrong. Some of his finest solos were on Jackie Gleason's mood music albums. Bobby Hackett died on Cape Cod in 1976.
Trombonist Benny Morton was born this day in 1907 in New York. He rose to prominence in Fletcher Henderson's orchestra in the late 1920s, then moved through the big bands of Chick Webb, Don Redman and Count Basie. Benny Morton toured with the World's Greatest Jazz Band in 1973 and 1974. He died in 1985.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
Blues singer Koko Taylor has been hospitalized after fainting at her South Side Chicago nightclub. The Chicago Tribune reports that Taylor -- the 66-year-old Grammy-winning singer dubbed the "Queen of the Blues" -- slumped over while hosting a private function. After she arrived at the hospital, doctors discovered she had a blocked artery and quickly ordered an angioplasty to ease the problem.
In the past, the busy singer -- she does more than 100 concert appearances a year -- has suffered from diabetes, hypertension and diverticulitis, and had been off her medication.
(Thanks to UPI's Dennis Daily)
On the New York jazz scene, Birdland presents tenor saxophonists Joe Lovano, Michael Brecker and Dave Liebman tonight through Saturday. Pianist Kenny Drew Jr.'s trio is at the Village Vanguard. Singer Tania Maria is at the Blue Note. Pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba's trio is at Iridium all week. Trombonist Chris Washburne and his SYOTOS Latin jazz band are at the Nuyorican Poet's Café tonight.
Jazz at Lincoln Center presents three consecutive nights of concerts beginning tonight featuring violinist Mark O'Connor in a "Hot Club de France Revisited" program. It will feature the fiery jazz of late violinist Stephane Grappelli. O'Connor will be joined by guitarist Frank Vignola and bassist Jon Burr in the concerts at the Kaplan Penthouse.
Singer-pianist Bobby Short brings his band to the Cabaret at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn., tonight through Sunday and also Feb.7-10.
On the Boston jazz scene, pianist Bill Charlap's trio is at Scullers jazz club tonight. Pianist Laszlo Gardony's trio with John Lockwood and Jamey Haddad is at the Regattabar in Cambridge.
Ken Cervenka, Ed Tomassi and Jim Odgren team up tonight at Ryles in Cambridge. Drummer Matt Gordy's band is at the Good Life in downtown Boston.
Singer Toni Lynn Washington's band is at Harry's Too in Westborough. Singer Jim Porcella and reed player Dick Johnson are at the Old South Meeting House in Boston for a midday performance. Singer Donna McElroy performs with a student jazz orchestra tonight at a Sarah Vaughan Scholarship benefit concert at the Berklee Performance Center.
Pianist Sid Simmons' quartet celebrates the music of Benny Golson tonight at Ortlieb's Jazzhaus in Philadelphia.
In Chicago tonight, guitarist Larry Coryell teams up with bassist Larry Gray and drummer Paul Wertico at the Jazz Showcase for the next four nights to celebrate the release of a live recording they made at the club last winter. Jamie Masefield's Jazz Mandolin Project is at the House of Blues tonight.
Detour is at the Backroom. Alan Gresik's Swing Shift Orchestra is at the Green Mill. Erwin Helfer and the Chicago Boogie Ensemble are at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. The Jeff Parker trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston. Temple Schultz is at Philander's in Oak Park.
On the New Orleans jazz scene, singer Germaine Bazzle is featured tonight with the George French band at Donna's. Trumpeter Jeremy Davenport is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Fusion League is at the Funky Butt tonight. The Soul Rebels Brass Band is at Le Bon Temps Roule. B.B. King is at the Mahalia Jackson Performing Arts Center.
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Brotherhood of Groove are at the Maple Leaf. The Crescent City Joymakers are at the Palm Court. John Brunious leads the band at Preservation Hall tonight. The New Orleans Nightcrawlers Brass Band is at Snug Harbor. Chris Severin is at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor. Trumpeter Kermit Ruffins and his Barbecue Swingers are at Vaughn's.
Wynton Marsalis brings the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra to the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas, tonight.
On the California jazz scene, pianist Shelly Berg's trio is at Steamers Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight. Saxophonist James Carter's organ trio is at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. Trumpeter Wallace Roney's quintet is at The Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood. Pianist McCoy Tyner is at Yoshi's in Oakland with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Harvey Mason.
Poncho Sanchez brings his Latin band to Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle tonight through Sunday.
Guitarist Mike Stern's band is at the Blue Note in Tokyo tonight through Saturday.