Guitarist George Van Eps was born this day in 1913 in Plainfield, N.J. This innovator, who invented the seven-string guitar in the 1930s, died in 1998.
Multiple-saxophonist Rahsaan Roland Kirk was born this day in 1936 in Columbus, Ohio. Kirk preferred the term "black classical music" to "jazz" for the music he played, often on three different saxophones at the same time. He died in 1977.
On this day in 1937, trumpeter Bunny Berigan recorded "I Can't Get Started" for the Victor label.
Boogie Woogie pianist Freddie Slack, whose version of "Cow Cow Boogie" was a hit for Capitol Records, was born this day in 1910 in LaCrosse, Wis.
On this day in 2001, The Verizon Music Festival, the latest festival to fall within the domain of jazz impresario George Wein, opened in New York with concerts by trumpeter Chuck Mangione, the Mark Dresser Trio and Tim Berne's Hard Cell band.
On this day in 2001, Verve released Archie Shepp and Roswell Rudd's reunion recording, "Live in New York." It was recorded at the Jazz Standard in September 2000, 35 years after their last performance together.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... bassist Charlie Haden is at the Blue Note for a two-week duo celebration, with Kenny Barron for the next two nights, then Geri Allen, Paul Bley, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Brad Mehldau. Dianne Reeves is at the Village Vanguard through Sunday with pianist Peter Martin, bassist Ruben Rogers, and drummer Greg Hutchinson. The Steve Lacy-Roswell Rudd quartet is at Iridium this week.
Singer Luciana Souza is at the Jazz Standard all week... three nights with guitarist Romero Lubambo, followed by three nights with her quintet. Vocalist Nancy Kelly and her trio plus special guest Joe Romano are at Birdland tonight. Medeski, Martin and Wood percussionist Billy Martin -- a.k.a. illy B -- continues his series "The Turntable Sessions" tonight at Bowery Poetry Club in lower Manhattan. Tonight, Martin and turntablist Scotty Hard play with keyboardist John Medeski, Charlie Burnham on violin and Marcus Rojas on tuba.
Tonight's Knitting Factory lineup includes the Marc Ribot trio, the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and a SIM Faculty Concert with Ralph Alessi, Peter Epstein, Steve Coleman, Jason Moran, Drew Gress, Nasheet Waits, Brad Shepik and DJ Olive. Grady Tate is at North Plaza and Sunna Gunnlaugs is at the Cornelia Street Cafe tonight.
Sugar Ray and The BlueTones featuring Monster Mike Welch are at Scullers in Boston tonight. The Nadine Chase quartet is at the Regattabar in Cambridge. The Phil Yoon Group is at Ryles jazz club in Cambridge tonight.
In northeastern Ohio... the Calypso Gypsies are at Cascade Plaza in Akron today. The Eddie Baccus Sr. organ quartet is at the Cleveland Museum of Art tonight. Liquid Soul is at Peabody's Downunder in Cleveland tonight.
On the Chicago area jazz scene... drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts quartet is at the Jazz Showcase. Mike Finnerty and the Jazz Hippies are at Cafe Ennui tonight. The Bill Porter Orchestra with Rich Fudoli is at Green Dolphin Street tonight. The Kurt Elling quartet is at the Green Mill. Ken Saydak is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. The Frank Catalano trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston. Jackie Allen and Judy Roberts are at Philander's in Oak Park.
In New Orleans... the Cab Calloway Big Band is at Bally's casino tonight. Mafouz brings Arabic jazz to the Blue Nile. Philip Melancon is at Dos Jefes. The Soul Rebels Brass Band is at El Matador. Delfeayo Marsalis is at the Funky Butt. Louis Ford is at Satchmo's jazz room at Harrah's. Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers are at Lew Bon Temps Roule.
Paul Longstreth and Victor Atkins are at Le Salon at Windsor Court. Johnny Vidacovich and George Porter Jr. are at the Old Point. John Brunious leads the band tonight at Preservation Hall. Jason Marsalis is at Snug Harbor. Dr. Guitar and the Franklin Avenue Overpass and Loren Pickford and New Orleans Gamuk are at the Spotted Cat tonight.
On the California jazz scene... the Edmund Velasco quintet is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton tonight. Tony Bennett is at the Hollywood Bowl tonight. Pianist Dave Burrell and bassist William Parker are at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight. The Stanford Jazz Festival in Palo Alto features the Herb Geller-Mundell Lowe Group tonight. Ledisi is at Yoshi's in Oakland. In San Francisco, guitarist Jeff Massanari's trio is at Jazz at Pearl's.
The AT&T San Jose Jazz Festival begins its schedule of 90 performances on nine stages situated throughout downtown San Jose tonight through Sunday. Tonight's Opening Night Gala, "Tiny Bubbles and Big Stars," features the premier performance of the San Jose Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Dennis Wilson and featuring Count Basie Orchestra vocalist Jamie Davis.
Jane Monheit and her band are at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle tonight.
Jazz en Marciac, France, tonight features trumpeter Wynton Marsalis with his septet and with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.
On the recording front...
Savoy Jazz, the label that first recorded the early pioneers of bebop, is offering three new premium packages by Charlie Parker, Lester Young and Stan Getz in various configurations. "Charlie Parker: Best of the Complete Savoy and Dial Recordings" collects 20 of Bird's sessions made during his peak years, 1944-48. "Lester Young: The Complete Savoy Recordings" and "Stan Getz: The Complete Savoy Recordings" include every track recorded for Savoy by the two tenor titans. These recordings are being offered as part of the Newark, N.J.-based label's 60th anniversary.