Today is Aug. 19.
Jazz trombonist and guitarist Eddie Durham was born this day in 1906 in San Marcos, Texas. He played with Walter Page's Blue Devils, Benny Moten's Band, Jimmy Lunceford and Count Basie.
He experimented with electrical amplification of the guitar, becoming a primary influence on Charlie Christian. Durham also worked as musical director of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm. He died in 1987.
Pianist Jimmy Rowles was born this day in 1918 in Spokane, Wash. He was best known as an accompanist to jazz singers. His most noteworthy composition, the jazz standard "The Peacocks," was included in the 1986 movie "Round Midnight."
Guitarist Peter Leitch was born this day in 1944 in Montreal. He has been a busy contributor to the New York jazz scene for the past 20 years. He also has been documenting the jazz performance scene as a photographer.
On this day in 1946 in Los Angeles, Woody Herman's band, directed by Igor Stravinsky, recorded Stravinsky's "Ebony Concerto." Stravinsky wrote the piece as a showcase for Herman's clarinet playing, hence the title.
On this same day in 1946, pianist Nat Cole first recorded his hit "For Sentimental Reasons."
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... the Paradox Trio is at the Knitting Factory's Old Office performance space tonight, while Harris Eisenstadt is at the Tap Bar. Ali Jackson is at the Jazz Gallery tonight with triple threat tenors Ravi Coltrane, David Sanchez and Tim Armacost.
The Schulldogs Trio is at Detour. The Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra featuring Lew Tabackin is at Birdland, preceded by a rush hour set by the Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra. Les Paul's trio is at Iridium on Mondays. Wycliffe Gordon's quintet is at the Greenwich Village Center tonight.
The Tom Newman Project is at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., tonight.
In Chicago... Terry Callier and Beyond are at the Green Mill. Kelly Brand is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium. The Typhanie Monique duo is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston, Ill. Sami Scott is at Philander's in Oak Park tonight.
In New Orleans... Otra is at the Blue Nile tonight. Two Pan Sam hosts the jazz jam at Checkpoint Charlie. David Dunbar is at the Circle Bar. Bob French and Friends are at Donna's, where there are free red beans and barbecue between sets of the Monday night jam session. The Jason Marsalis quartet and the Just Off the Boat Refugee Jazz Band are at the Funky Butt tonight.
Matt Lemmler and Mike Esnault are at Le Salon at Windsor Court tonight. Papa Grows Funk is at the Maple Leaf. Ellen Smith and the Mojo Revieux are at the Mojo Bistro. Reginald Koeller leads the band tonight at Preservation Hall. Charmaine Neville is at Snug Harbor. The New Orleans Jazz Vipers and Ryan Burrage and the Rhythm Masters are at the Spotted Cat. The Rob Wagner trio is at d.b.a. tonight.
On the California jazz scene... the Arlene and the Guys big band is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton tonight. The Young Artists Jazz Series presents cellist Drake Price at the Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood.
The Sal Cracchiolo-Melanie Jackson sextet featuring pianist Carlos Cuevas, bassist Rene Camacho, drummer Kendall Kay and conguero Jose "Papo" Rodriguez is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks tonight.
The Contemporary Jazz Orchestra directed by Alex Budman is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco tonight. Jeff "Tain" Watts' quintet is at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz.
On the recording front...
Pianist Brad Mehldau has just released his latest Warner Brothers compact disc, an adventure called "Largo." It features his longtime trio-mates, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy, as well as special guests Jon Brion on keyboard-treated guitar, Darek Oles on acoustic bass, and drummers Matt Chamberlain and Jim Keltner.
New Orleans-based Groovopolis has just released its debut recording. The self-titled CD by this groove band features band members guitarist Chris Cortez, Jay Webb on trumpet, Jeff Mills on drums, Lenny DiMartino on bass and Dean Fransen on keyboards.
The Palmetto label is out with pianist Andrew Hill's "A Beautiful Day," a live recording of his big band this year at Birdland in New York. It features eight original compositions.