Bass player Eugene Wright was born this day in 1923. He signed on with the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1958, where his solid timekeeping became the base for Brubeck's experiments with polyrhythms and unusual time signatures.
Pianist Hilton Ruiz was born this day in 1952 in New York. He is classically trained and worked in Latin bands as a teenager. Ruiz got his first taste of jazz through associations with Frank Foster, Mary Lou Williams and Joe Newman.
Drummer Kenny Washington was born this day in 1958 in New York. In addition to being an in-demand drummer working with the likes of Tommy Flanagan, Ron Carter and Cedar Walton, he's also a jazz historian and broadcaster (on public radio station WBGO-FM in Newark, N.J.).
Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon was born this day in 1967. The Augusta, Ga., native made his first mark as a member of trumpeter Wynton Marsalis's band. Gordon is a stalwart member of the Marsalis-led Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.
On this day in 1925, Fletcher Henderson first recorded "Sugar Foot Stomp" for the Columbia label.
This was also the day, in 1946, when Charlie Ventura introduced his "boptet" band. That sextet at various times included Bill Harris, Kai Winding, Jackie Cain and Roy Kral.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... the Jason Moran-Sam Rivers quartet is at Iridium this week. The Tom Harrell quintet is at the Village Vanguard. Steps Ahead and Bill Evans and the Soul Insiders are at the Blue Note this week. Ray Bryant is at the Jazz Standard through Sunday. Singer Roseanna Vitro is at Birdland tonight. The Seleno Clark organ quintet is at the Zinc Bar tonight. At the Knitting Factory, the lineup includes Elliott Sharp's Terraplane, Eric Mingus, Dean Bowman, E-Z Pour Spout does Saturday Night Fever and The Throes. The Vision Festival continues at The Center at Old St. Patrick's Cathedral and CB's Lounge through June 9.
In and around Boston...the Shimon Ben-Sher group is at Ryles in Cambridge. The Mark Kross band is at the Regattabar in Cambridge. Singer Rachelle Ferrell is at the Berklee Performance Center tonight in Boston. Chuck Loeb and Jeff Kashiwa are at Scullers in Boston tonight and Thursday.
Down to the Bone is at Zanzibar Blue in Philadelphia tonight.
In and around Chicago... WesBound Trane is at Bistro America in Batavia tonight. Mike Finnerty and the Jazz Hippies are at Cafe Ennui. Peter Eldridge of New York Voices continues his run at Davenport's. The Bill Porter Orchestra with Rich Fudoli is at Green Dolphin Street. The Kurt Elling quartet is at the Green Mill. Trumpeter Terrell Stafford's quintet is at the Jazz Showcase. Ken Saydak is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. The Frank Catalano trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston tonight. Andrew Blenderman is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Ryan Cohan trio is at Pops for Champagne.
In New Orleans... Chuck Chaplin is at Cobalt tonight. Leigh 'Little Queenie' Harris is at Dos Jefes. The Soul Rebels Brass Band is at El Matador. Ingrid Lucia sings at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Evan Howards' Jazz Party is at the Funky Butt. Louis Ford is at Satchmo's jazz room at Harrah's casino. John Boutte is at Lafayette Square for a free show. Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers are at Le Bon Temps Roule.
Joe Schlesinger is at Le Meridien. Mboya Nicholson and Victor Atkins are at Le Salon at Windsor Court. John Brunious leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. Fredy Omar con su Banda are at the Red Room. Kenny Garrett is at Snug Harbor tonight and Thursday. Charmaine Neville, Humphrey Davis and Tom Worrell lead the bands tonight at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor.
On the California jazz scene... the Ahmad Jamal trio is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles through Sunday. The Curtis Stigers quartet is scheduled at the Catalina in North Hollywood through Sunday. The Frank Potenza trio is at Steamers Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight. Dee Dee Bridgewater is at Yoshi's in Oakland.
E ST, Swedish pianist Esbjorn Svennson's trio, is in Dumfries, Scotland, tonight.
The Pat Metheny Group is in Warsaw, Poland.
On the recording front...
Savoy Jazz, the storied Newark, N.J.-based label that first recorded jazz greats Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Fats Navarro and J.J. Johnson will mark its 60th anniversary this fall. Savoy Jazz also announces the imprint¹s long anticipated return to active recording. An array of catalogue classics and reissue programs will also serve to reignite the label.
In the qualitative tradition of last year's double Grammy nominated Charlie Parker boxed set, Savoy Jazz has just released single, double and three CD packages by Charlie Parker, Red Norvo and Dizzy Gillespie. Later in the summer Savoy Jazz will release premium single and double CD packages by Stan Getz, Lester Young, J.J. Johnson and Billy Eckstine, among others produced by Orrin Keepnews.
Savoy Jazz will begin the year's second half by initiating its Savoy at 60 Timeless campaign with a 2-CD package representing a retrospective of the amazing historical significance of the label programmed and annotated by historian Billy Vera. The campaign will feature an extensive advertising and marketing program for both the collector multidisc packages, the "Bird Up" remix project as well as the Savoy Jazz "Timeless" mid-priced series, created as an entry level experience for new jazz listeners.
Former Windham Hill group head Steve Vining is President, and former RCA/Novus and Bluebird, Arista Jazz and Impulse! head Steve Backer as VP of A&R. Vining and Backer will also be acquiring new labels in a range of genres.