Today is July 20th.
Saxophonist Ernie Wilkins was born this day in 1922 in St. Louis. A fine musical arranger, Wilkins wrote charts for the Count Basie and Harry James orchestras and many other musicians. He helped redefine the Basie Band sound in the 1950s.
On this day in 1942, bandleader Les Brown first recorded "Out of Nowhere" for the Columbia label.
Jazz producer and record store owner Milton Gabler died July 20, 2001, at the Jewish Home and Hospital in New York. He was 90. He founded Commodore Records, the nation's first independent jazz record label. For many years, he also ran the Commodore Music Shop in Manhattan. He produced "Rock Around the Clock," by Bill Haley and the Comets, in 1954, the song that ushered in the rock'n'roll revolution. He also was the first to record Billie Holiday's anti-lynching song "Strange Fruit." He also was a music lyricist, writing the words to "In a Mellow Tone" for Duke Ellington and "Love" for Nat King Cole.
On this night in 2001, harmonica wizard James Cotton's blues band celebrated its 35th anniversary at The Regattabar in Cambridge, Mass.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... Henry Butler is at the Jazz Standard tonight. The Yosuke Yamashita trio with Cecil McBee and Pheeroan Aklaff is at Iridium. Take 6 is at the Blue Note this week. The Mulgrew Miller trio is at the Village Vanguard. The Eric Revis quintet is at The Jazz Gallery tonight. The Knitting Factory schedule includes Camper Van Beethoven, RANA, Supagroup, and Gary Lucas and Peter Stampfel.
The Greater Hartford, Conn., Festival of Jazz at Bushnell Park presents Special EFX featuring Chieli Minucci, Marion Meadows and Bobby today and tonight. Ali Ryerson and Joe Beck, Patricia Barber, Phil Woods and Joe Sample are scheduled for Sunday's finale. Baritone saxophonist Ronnie Cuber's quartet is at the B. B. King Blues Club at Foxwoods in Ledyard, Conn., tonight.
Pianist David Benoit is at Scullers in Boston tonight. Singer Donna Byrne is at Maudslay Arts in Newburyport, Mass., tonight. Pianist Mark Kross's Five-Piece Trio, actually a sextet, is at the Stoneham, Mass., Theatre tonight.
Singer Jenna Mammina is at Nighttown in Cleveland tonight. Guitarist Peter White is at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Amphitheater.
In Chicago tonight... Ron Levy is at Subterranean. There's a Sabertooth After Hours Jazz Party starting at midnight at the Green Mill. The George Coleman quartet is at the Jazz Showcase. Bopology is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. Rankinfyle is at Philander's in Oak Park.
Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen will celebrate the release of their new compact disc at Tipitina's in New Orleans tonight after touring with Bonnie Raitt since March 30.
Elsewhere on the New Orleans jazz scene tonight... New Orleans Streetbeat is at the Crescent City Brewhouse. Big Chief Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolias are at Donna's. Frank and the Nicotine Hoppers are at Dos Jefes. Jeremy Davenport is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. The Derek Douget Quartet and the Devin Phillips Quartet are at the Funky Butt. Brian O'Neill and Topsy Chapman are at Satchmo's jazz room in Harrah's casino.
The Olivier Bou trio is at Le Salon at the Windsor Court. Ingrid Lucia and the Flying Neutrinos are at the Old Point. John Brunious leads the band at Preservation Hall. The Panorama Jazz Band is at the Seaport Café. The Ellis Marsalis trio is at Snug Harbor. Dr. Bone and the Hepcats and the Washboard Chaz Blues Trio are at the Spotted Cat tonight. The Algiers Brass Band is at the French Market Complex this afternoon. There's a jazz for kids program featuring Bamboula Drum and Dance and a performance by the Vieux Carre Jazz Band this afternoon at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.
Los Hombres Calientes are at the Sioux Falls, S.D., Jazz and Blues Festival tonight.
In California... Drummer Brett Sanders is at Dizzy's in San Diego with Iggy Thomas, Nate Souders and friends. The Ramon Banda trio is at Elarios in La Jolla. The Susie Hansen Latin Band is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton tonight. The Bob DeSena sextet is at The Deck in Palm Springs tonight.
The Michael Weiss quartet is at the Stanford Jazz Festival in Palo Alto. The Pharoah Sanders quartet is at the Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood. The Terrance Blanchard Sextet is at Yoshi's in Oakland. Larry Vuckovich is at Bistro 339 and Bryce Rohde is at the Bix Restaurant and Supper Club in San Francisco tonight. Allan Pollack and the Festival Big Band, with Brenda Boykin is at the Mendocino Music Festival at Mendocino Headlands State Park.
The Hank Jones trio is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle.
Pianist Ran Blake will lead the world premiere performance of his first-ever standard piano trio with George Schuller and Ed Schuller tonight at the National Library of Canada, as part of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival's Connoisseur Series.
Pianist Kenny Barron's trio is in Perugia, Italy, tonight.