Boogie-woogie piano master Pete Johnson was born this day in 1904 in Kansas City. He worked regularly in boogie-woogie trios and duos with Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis.
Singer Clarence Beeks was born this day in 1922 in Oakdale, Tenn. The music world knew him better as "King Pleasure." Success came in 1949 following one of the fabled amateur contests at New York's Apollo Theatre, where he sang Eddie Jefferson's lyrics to James Moody's composition "I'm in the Mood for Love." King Pleasure's version of the song became a substantial hit on the Prestige Label in 1952. He popularized vocalese, the technique of writing new lyrics based on the original jazz solos of a song.
Pianist Steve Kuhn was born this day in 1938 in Brooklyn. In addition to leading his own band and playing solo, he has worked through the years with Stan Getz, Kenny Dorham, Art Farmer, Gary Burton and John Coltrane.
Pianist Renee Rosnes was born this day in 1962 in Regina, Saskatchewan, in western Canada. She has recorded extensively for the Blue Note label.
Trumpeter Dave Douglas was born this day in 1963 in Montclair, N.J.
On this day in 2001, Symphony Space in New York presented its 31st annual "Wall to Wall" music marathon. The 12-hour free event had fans stretched around the block hoping to hear even a bit of a celebration of the 75th birth year of Miles Davis. Literally hundreds of musicians and singers performed a wide range of Davis works in their own contexts.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene, singer Carol Sloane closes out her weeklong run at the Village Vanguard tonight with pianist Norman Simmons, bassist Paul West, drummer Winard Harper and guitarist Paul Bollenback. Pianist McCoy Tyner's trio is joined by special guest Bobby Hutcherson at Iridium. Tenor saxophonist Gato Barbieri's band is at the Blue Note.
Trumpeter Ron Horton's quartet and the Herbie Nichols Project are featured at The Jazz Standard tonight as the Jazz Composers' Collective concludes its second annual festival. Guitarist Peter Leitch and bassist Harvie Swartz team up tonight at Walker's.
Trombonist Chris Washburne's SYOTOS Latin jazz band is at Smoke tonight. The Dustin Garlitz quartet is at the Knitting Factory tonight. Phoenix Rising with flutist Andrea Brachfield is at the Manna House Mini Theater this afternoon.
Saxophonist Richie Cole's Alto Madness Orchestra is at Trumpets in Montclair, N.J., tonight.
In and around Boston, The Manhattans featuring Gerald Alston and Blue Lovett are at Scullers in Boston tonight. The count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Grover Mitchell performs this afternoon and tonight at the Stoneham Theater. Saxophonist Arnie Krakowsky is featured this afternoon with trumpeter Johnny Souza's band at Ricky T's in Plymouth.
There's a marathon jazz event at the Harborfront Center Ballroom in Fairhaven, Mass., today to benefit the Bobby Greene Memorial Scholarship Fund, created at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth after the 1991 passing of the composer and saxophonist. Those participating today include Stan Strickland, Tim Ingles, Mac Chrupcala Andy McWain and veterans of Greene's former band, Coleus.
On the Chicago jazz scene, pianist Cyrus Chestnut closes out his weeklong trio run at the Jazz Showcase. The Chicago Jazz Orchestra and singer Kurt Elling present the music of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole this afternoon at the Harold Washington Library Center.
HotHouse presents a Festival of "Light" tribute to Light Henry Huff tonight. It is a benefit to raise money for publication of Huff's compositions. Those taking part include Sound Therapy, Sherry Scott, Breath, and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble with Kahil El'Zabar, Ernest Khabeer Dawkins, Joseph Bowie, plus special guests including Mwata Bowden, Ari Brown and Douglas Ewart.
Mike Finnerty and the Jazz Hippies are at Cafe Ennui tonight. The Chicago Metropolitan Big Band is at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn tonight. The Sonny Turner quintet is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. The Russell Rowe trio is at Pops for Champagne.
In New Orleans tonight, Stu Crawford is at the Bombay Club. Singer Topsy Chapman joins drummer Shannon Powell and Friends tonight at Donna's. Dr. Bone and the Hepcats are at El Matador. The Robin Boudreaux quintet is at the Funky Butt.
Trombonist Troy Andrews' Big Band is at the Maple Leaf. Lucien Barbarin and the Sunday Night Swingsters are at the Palm Court. Harold 'Duke' Dejean's Olympia Brass Band is at Preservation Hall. Jason Marsalis is at Snug Harbor tonight with his band. Barbara Shorts is at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor.
The New Orleans Navy Big Band is at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park this afternoon.
On the California jazz scene, Toots Thielemans and Kenny Werner are at the Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood tonight. Guitarist Stanley Jordan is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. Guitarist John Scofield is at Yoshi's in Oakland for matinee and evening performances that close out his weeklong run. Vickie Anne and Greg Hester team up tonight at Main Street Station in Guerneville.
In San Francisco, Jane Bunnett and her Spirits of Havana band perform this afternoon and again tonight as part of the SFJazz spring series, which is focusing this weekend on women in jazz. Paula West is at the Plush Room. 3Thinking is at Butterfly. The Rolando Morales quintet is at Bruno's. Don Asher is at the Bix Restaurant and Supper Club tonight.
For those who prefer their jazz in the afternoon, the Golden Eagle Dixieland Jazz Band is at Steamer's Jazz Café in Fullerton. The Alcatraz Angels Jazz Band is at Dick's Restaurant in San Leandro. Greg Carroll is at the Hyatt's Palm Room in San Jose. The Mike Vax Jazz Orchestra featuring Terry Gibbs is at the Longfellow School of the Arts in Berkeley. Allegria is at The Jazzschool in Berkeley.
Steven Bernstein and Sex Mob are at the Dieselstrasse in Esslingen, Germany, tonight.