Drummer Elmer "Mousey" Alexander was born this day in 1922 in Gary, Ind. He worked in Dixieland bands in Chicago in the late 1940s before moving to New York where he performed for a year as a member of pianist Marian McPartland's bebop trio. His longest association was a four-year stint in the Benny Goodman band.
Pianist and writer/arranger Ralph Burns was born this day in 1922 in Newton, Mass. He played for several years in the Woody Herman Orchestra, then took on a more important role as primary arranger for the Herman band. Burns' original pieces included "Apple Honey," "The Moose" (recorded by Charlie Barnet) and "Summer Sequence." When lyrics by Johnny Mercer were added, the last part of "Summer Sequence" became a classic Herman-associated tune called "Early Autumn."
Trombonist Julian Priester was born this day in 1935 in Chicago.
Saxophonist Eric Dolphy died from complications of diabetes this day in 1964 in Berlin, the day after he collapsed at a nightclub performance. He was 36.
On this day in 1939, Benny Carter recorded his big band theme song "Melancholy Lullabye" for the Vocalion label.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
Tonight's Montreal International Jazz Festival features include the Wynton Marsalis septet, the Pat Martino trio, Colombia's Sonora Carruseles and Patrick Brennan and Sonic. Also performing are Jean-Francois Groulx, Jane Monheit, the Kelly Joe Phelps trio and Bill Frisell. Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba is joined by Charlie Haden in the third night of the festival's Invitation series.
The JVC Jazz Festival in New York concludes tonight with its annual Latin concert at Carnegie Hall with Eddie Palmieri and La Perfecta, Ismael Quintana, Herman Olivera, Orquesta Aragon, Dave Valentin and Eddy Zervigon. Omara Portuondo and Miriam Makeba are at the Beacon Theater.
Elsewhere on the New York scene... the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Band performs at the Blue Note through Sunday. The Jason Moran trio is at the Village Vanguard tonight. Lea Delaria and her trio are at Iridium through Sunday. The Charles McPherson quartet is at Birdland tonight. The Hilton Ruiz trio is at the Lenox Lounge in Harlem tonight. Singer Michael Camacho is at Shelly's.
Tony Bennett and Betty Buckley perform tonight at the Long Island Summer Festival atPlanting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay.
Freihofer's Jazz Festival opens its weekend music marathon today upstate in Saratoga Springs with the Herbie Hancock-Michael Brecker-Roy Hargrove Directions in Music band, The Manhattan Transfer and Dave Koz and Friends. Also performing are War, Regina Carter's quintet, the Dave Holland quintet, Kurt Elling, Soulive, Gerald Veasley, Sunny Sumter, Roni Ben-Hur and Cole Broderick. The festival winds down on Sunday.
The festival isn't the only place in town with an abundance of jazz. Nearby Skidmore College today opens its annual two-week jazz institute for students of all ages. This year's master class artists include Bill Charlap, Christian McBride and Wallace Roney. The faculty includes Todd Coolman, Curtis Fuller, Clyde Kerr, John LaBarbera, Dick Oatts, Frank Mantooth and Ed Shaughnessy.
Greg Abate and dick Johnson are at Chan's in Woonsocket, R.I., tonight with Greg Wardson, Todd Baker and Gary Johnson.
In and around Boston... jazz-pop harpist Deborah Henson-Conant: Jazz Harp is at the Regattabar in Cambridge tonight. Singer Rebecca Parris is at the Marblehead Summer Jazz Series tonight with the George Mesterhazy trio at the Unitarian-Universalist Church. Trumpeter Greg Hopkins' quintet will be at Club Zara tonight in Worcester.
Saxophonist Rene McLean and IjazzAfrica are at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., tonight and Sunday. Bassist Marcus Miller is at the Carter Barron Amphitheater in Washington, D.C., tonight.
In the Chicago area... bassist Ray Brown's trio is at the Jazz Showcase. Bopology is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. Rankinfyle is at Philander's in Oak Park.
On the New Orleans jazz scene... the New Orleans Nightcrawlers Brass Band is at the Blue Nile tonight. Bob Sunda and Joe Krown are at Charley G's. Bill Solley is at Cobalt. Jeremy Davenport is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Darrell Reeves and the Devin Phillips Quintet are at the Funky Butt. Brian O'Neill and Louis Ford are at Satchmo's jazz room at Harrah's. Joe Schlesinger is at Le Meridien. The Wendell Brunious Trio and Ronald Markham Trio are at Le Salon at Windsor Court. Johnny Vidacovich, Rich Vogel, Ben Ellman and Brian Seeger are at the Old Point.
John Brunious leads the band at Preservation Hall tonight. The Panorama Jazz Band is at the Seaport Café. Donald Harrison is at Snug Harbor. Jesse McBride is at the Steak Knife. Brian 'Breeze' Cayolle and Pat 'Mother Blues' Cohen are at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor. Sharon Martin is at Sweet Lorraine Egg Yolk Jubilee, Dr. Bone and the Hepcats and Blake Amos and Saudade are at Tipitina's. The Jazzmen Brass Band is at the French Market Complex this afternoon.
In California... the Toshiko Akiyoshi and Lew Tabackin trio is at The Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood through Sunday. Bassist Scott Colley's quartet with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles all week. The Sal Cracchiolo and Melanie Jackson Sextet is at the City of Oxnard's Centennial celebration today. The Jack Sheldon quartet is at Steamer's Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight. The Bob DeSena Latin Jazz Band is at THE DECK in Palm Springs tonight. James Gavin, author of the biography "Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker," will appear for a book reading and signing this afternoon at Borders (Westwood) in Los Angeles.
Jazz for Kids with Jim Nadel and Friends this morning at Stanford University's Campbell Recital Hall as part of the Stanford Jazz Festival. The Lou Donaldson quartet featuring Dr. Lonnie Smith performs there tonight. See www.stanfordjazz.org for more festival information. Moodswing is at Main Street Station in Guerneville. The Tom Harrell quintet is at Yoshi's in Oakland through Sunday.
In San Francisco tonight, Larry Vuckovich is at Bistro 339, Mas Cabeza is at Butterfly, Rhonda Benin and Soulful Strut are at Enrico's, The Noel Jewkes Quartet with Vince Lateano, Matt Clark and Peter Barshay is at Jazz at Pearl's, Steve Ross is at the Plush Room tonight and George Khouri is at the Bix Restaurant and Supper Club.
Willie and Lobo are at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle tonight and Sunday.
Tonight's Vancouver Jazz Festival lineup includes the Dave Brubeck quartet, the Vienna Art Orchestra, Nils Petter Molvaer and Vinicius Cantuaria, Chuck Israels and the Vancouver Little Big Band and the Paul Plimley trio.
Los Hombres Calientes appear tonight at the Saskatoon Jazz Festival in Saskatchewan.
The Pat Metheny Group performs tonight in San Javier, Spain.