Today is March 8.
Pianist Dick Hyman was born this day in New York City in 1927. Since he hit the music scene in the early 1950s, Hyman has been one of the most versatile pianists and musical directors around. He has been a busy studio musician and musical director on network television. He also has served as principal music writer for several of Woody Allen's films. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences gave Hyman its Most Valuable Player award seven times.
Tenor saxophonist George Coleman was born this day in 1935 in Memphis, Tenn. He started out on alto and switched to the tenor in 1955 while touring with blues guitarist B.B. King. He played in Miles Davis's band from 1963-64 and now leads his own quartet.
Another Memphis native, pianist James Williams, was born this day in 1951. In addition to his own writing and performing, Williams has established strong credentials as a producer of jazz events and recordings for other players. Williams's own musical efforts are focused these days on his gospel-jazz-blues group Intensive Care Unit.
On this day in 1940, Cab Calloway and his orchestra recorded Dizzy Gillespie's composition "Pickin' the Cabbage" for the Vocalian label.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
Jazz at Lincoln Center will take on a wide-ranging rhythmic flavor for its 2002-03 season that begins next fall. The overriding theme for its programming is "Drums -- American, African, Afro-Cuban, Caribbean, Japanese."
Concerts will celebrate the music of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Roy Haynes, Max Roach, James Black, Teri Lyne Carrington and the Caribbean steel-drum tradition. The season will also mark the debut of a new Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, led by the pianist Arturo O'Farrill that will perform under the sponsorship of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Composer Toshiko Akiyoshi will also premiere a new work featuring Japanese Taiko drums.
Other Jazz at Lincoln Center concerts will include a soul jazz organ band featuring David "Fathead" Newman, Bernard Purdie and Reuben Wilson. On April 25, 2003, there will be a concert at Avery Fisher Hall featuring the Michael Brecker quartet, the Dave Holland sextet and the Wynton Marsalis septet. Each will perform separately, and then mix members for a jam session.
The Jazz Composers Collective moves one of its concerts to Lincoln Center's Kaplan Penthouse in June 2003 to perform the music of Herbie Nichols.
On the New York jazz scene, the Jazz Gallery's new Duo Piano series teams Jean-Michel Pilc and Jim Ridl tonight on the performance space's two historically significant grand pianos -- one from the defunct Bradley's jazz room, the other having been owned by singer Carmen McRae.
Singer-songwriter Abbey Lincoln's three-night career celebration continues at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Willie Colon's band is at the Blue Note through Sunday as the club continues its month-long Latin jazz festival series. Kevin Hays and Bill Stewart team up tonight in the Jazz Gallery's month long Duo Piano series. Drummer Lewis Nash's trio is at Birdland for two more nights.
Trumpeter Roy Hargrove's quintet is at the Village Vanguard. Pianist Cyrus Chestnut's All-Stars are at Iridium. The Benny Golson quartet is at Smoke tonight and Saturday. Pianist Eric Reed's trio is at the Up Over Jazz Café tonight and Saturday. Singer Blossom Dearie is at Danny's Skylight Room tonight through Sunday.
Tonight's Knitting Factory lineup includes guitarist Dan Carillo's sextet with Amy Schrift on trumpet and flugelhorn, Dror Ben Gur on alto and soprano saxophones, Kim Bock on tenor and soprano saxophones, Adam Armstrong on bass, and Philipp Bernhardt on drums.
The Yellow Jackets are at the B.B. King Night Club at Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, Conn., tonight and Saturday.
Trumpeter Nicholas Payton brings his sextet into the Greenwich Odeum in East Greenwich, R.I., tonight. The Bruce Katz Band is at Chan's in Woonsocket, R.I., tonight.
On the Boston area jazz scene, Keith Jarrett's trio is at Symphony Hall tonight. Singer Rebecca Parris's quartet is at the Regattabar in Cambridge. Bruce Bartlett and Steve Hunt bring their Chick Corea tribute band into Ryles jazz club in Cambridge tonight. Saxophonist Herman Johnson's quartet is at Bob the Chef's in Boston tonight.
Organ player Ron Levy's band Spank!, with jam band veterans Fuzz and Eric Kalb from Deep Banana Blackout, is at the Stone Church in Newmarket, N.H., tonight.
Guitarist Russell Malone is at Zanzibar Blue in Philadelphia tonight and Saturday. The Bootsie Barnes-John Swana quartet is at Chris's Jazz Café in Philly's Center City district.
The Omar Sosa-John Santos trio performs tonight at Mills Hall at the University of Wisconsin School of Music in Madison.
On the Chicago jazz scene, the Chris Lega-Pat Mallinger Quintet is at Andy's. Dewey Redman is at the Jazz Showcase. Charlie Johnson is at the Backroom. Ben Rudolph is at the Green Mill tonight. Skinny Williams is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. The Gephart-Long quartet is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston. The King Fleming trio is at Philander's in Oak Park. Guitarist Henry Johnson's quartet is at Pops for Champagne tonight and Saturday. Steve Ditzell's Blue Lightning Band is at Pops of Highwood tonight.
In New Orleans tonight, Charmaine Neville and Amasa Miller are at Cobalt. The Treme Brass Band is at Donna's. Wendell Brunious is at Dos Jefes. Quintolgy is at the Dragon's Den. The Soul Rebels Brass Band is at El Matador. Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis and Devin Phillips are in the spotlight at the Funky Butt.
The Joe Krown Organ Combo and Brotherhood of Groove are at the Maple Leaf. Thais Clark and Ernie Elly's Slickshots are at the Palm Court. Leroy Jones leads the band at Preservation Hall. Saxophonist Dave Liebman is at Snug Harbor tonight. Sam Rivers conducts the Naked Orchestra tonight at the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center.
On the California jazz scene, Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band are at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. Sweet Baby Jai is at Steamer's Jazz Café in Fullerton. Steve Smith and Vital Information are at the Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood with saxophonist Bill Evans. Hugh Masekela is at Yoshi's in Oakland. Trumpeter Rick Braun is at Kimball's East in Emeryville.
In San Francisco, the Brian Melvin trio is at Rubicon this afternoon. Paula West is at The Plush Room tonight. The George Khouri trio is at the Bix Restaurant and Supper Club.
The Ray Vega Latin jazz quintet is at Birdland in Neuberg, Germany, tonight.