Trombonist and composer William Russo was born this day in 1928 in Chicago. As a teenager he studied with Lennie Tristano. Russo wrote many of the most experimental tunes played by the Stan Kenton orchestra in the 1950s. Russo now conducts the highly regarded Chicago Jazz Ensemble.
Drummer Joe Chambers was born this day in 1942 in Stoneacre, Va. He's also a pianist and composer, a player whose drumming sensitivity has put him in all-star company.
On this day in 1976, the music world lost songwriter Johnny Mercer at age 67. His many fine standards included "Jeepers Creepers," "That Old Black Magic" and "Blues in the Night."
On this day in 1941, Glenn Miller recorded "Adios" for Bluebird Records.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
The JVC Jazz Festival in New York tonight presents Cassandra Wilson, Patricia Barber, and Dave Douglas at Carnegie Hall, and an 80th birthday celebration for pianist John Bunch with Harry Allen, Barbara Carroll, Bill Charlap and Jay Leonhart at the Kaye Playhouse. The Donald Byrd All-Stars are at Birdland tonight. Marc Cary and Indigenous People are at The Jazz Standard tonight.
Elsewhere on the New York scene... the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Band will perform at the Blue Note tonight through Sunday. The Bad Plus with Ethan Iverson, Reid Anderson and David King is at the Village Vanguard tonight. Lea Delaria and her trio are at Iridium through Sunday. Marcus Miller is at the Village Underground tonight and Wednesday. The John Benitez quartet is at the Zinc Bar tonight and Wednesday.
Leo Blanco and the Voyage Band are at Ryles in Cambridge tonight.
Guitarist Carl Filipiak is at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., tonight.
There's a "Harlem in the Thirties" concert tonight with clarinetist John Richmond's Swingtet and singer Evelyn Wright at the Cain Pak Alma Theater in Cleveland, Ohio.
In and around Chicago... the Ray Brown trio with Larry Fuller and Karriem Riggins is at the Jazz Showcase through Sunday. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones are at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park tonight with Nickel Creek. Jimmy Sutton's Four Charms are at the Green Mill tonight. Ken Cheney is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. Von Freeman and Friends are at the New Apartment Lounge. Pianist Marshall Vente is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Keli Briggs Allison trio is at Pops for Champagne tonight.
On the New Orleans jazz scene... Mahfouz is at the Blue Nile tonight. The Jazz Vipers are at El Matador. Ingrid Lucia is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Drummer James Alsanders' Jazz Project is at the Funky Butt. Louis Ford is at Satchmo's jazz room at Harrah's casino. David Torkanowsky and Matt Lemmler are at Le Salon at Windsor Court.
The ReBirth Brass Band is at the Maple Leaf. Pete Fountain is at his club in the New Orleans Hilton. Gregg Stafford leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. The Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet is at Snug Harbor. The Ian McPhail Jazz Quintet is at The Spotted Cat. Brian 'Breeze' Cayolle and Hurley Blanchard are at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor.
On the California jazz scene... the Toshiko Akiyoshi and Lew Tabackin trio is at The Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood tonight through Sunday. Bassist Scott Colley's quartet with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles all week. The Gina Saputo quintet is at Steamer's Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight.
The Benny Barth Jazz Trio is at Main Street Station in Guerneville. Los Hombres Calientes are at Yoshi's in Oakland tonight. In San Francisco tonight, Brian Felix is at Butterfly, Jules Broussard, Bing Nathan and Ned Boynton are at Enrico's, Chuck Bernstein, Si Perkoff and Frank Pasantino are at Jazz at Pearl's, Steve Ross is at the Plush Room tonight and Alan Steger is at the Bix Restaurant and Supper Club.
Toronto Downtown Jazz continues tonight with the Count Basie Orchestra directed by Grover Mitchell.
Tonight's Vancouver Jazz Festival lineup includes Bill Frisell's Intercontinental Quartet, Lucky Peterson, Gianluigi Trovesi and Gianni Coscia, the Mike Murley-Ian Froman quartet. Francois Houle's Cryptology and the James Carter Organ Trio.
On the recording front...
Chicago-based 482 Music has released the self-titled debut recording by Sticks & Stones, a trio featuring alto saxophonist Matana Roberts, bassist Joshua Abrams and drummer Chad Taylor. The three-year old trio will celebrate its new recording with CD release events at Chicago's Velvet Lounge on July 12th and the Jazz Gallery in New York City with special guest pianist Vijay Iyer on Thursday, July 18.
Although most of the trio's membership no longer resides in Chicago, Sticks & Stones is very proud of its hometown and the city's lineage of independent-minded musicians. Roberts is an Associate Member of the historic Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and both Abrams and Taylor play with some of Chicago's most innovative new ensembles.
Jazzateria Recordings has released "Introducing G.G.," a new recording by guitarist Greg Green, who goes by the name Grant Green Jr. No matter what you call him, the younger Green has become an integral part of the group Masters of Groove. Two of its other regular members, organist Reuben Wilson and saxophonist Leo Gandelman, join him on this outing.
Philadelphia-based singer Ruth Naomi Floyd is out with her fourth release, "Fan Into Flame," on Contour Records. It is based conceptually on a New Testament scripture passage in 2 Timothy. Her band for this original project includes pianists James Weidman and Julian Joseph, vibraphonist Bryan Carrott, saxophonists Gary Thomas and Bobby Zankel, bassists Matthew Parrish and Reggie Washington, and drummer Mark Prince.
Jazz organist and pianist Larry Goldings is out with his latest, "Sweet Science," on the Palmetto label. It features his longtime working bandmates, drummer Bill Stewart and guitarist Peter Bernstein. It is Goldings' ninth recording as a leader.
Singer-songwriter Jackie Ryan's debut on OpenArt Records is called "Passion Flower." This Bay Area musician included original lyrics for four songs, including vocalese lyrics to Joe Henderson's sax solo on "The Kicker" and lyrics for Barry Harris's "Deep Love."
For more than 35 years, veteran broadcaster Alan Grant has retained the tapes of the night the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra made its debut at the Village Vanguard in New York, an event that Grant helped stage. Now he's sharing the moment. This first appearance by the band has been released on compact disc. It can be purchased through Grant's Web site, alangrantjazz.com.