Trumpeter Fats Navarro was born this day in 1923 in Key West, Fla. This leading bebop soloist settled in New York in 1946 after succeeding Dizzy Gillespie in the Billy Eckstine band, then began a very important association with Tadd Dameron. His career was short-lived. Fats Navarro died in 1950 at age 26 from tuberculosis.
Guitarist Bill Connors was born this day in 1949 in Los Angeles. His best-known jazz recordings have been with Return to Forever, Stanley Clark and Jan Garbarek.
Bongo player Jack Costanzo was born this day in 1922 in Los Angeles. He toured and recorded with Stan Kenton and Nat King Cole in the 1940s and '50s.
Singer Herb Jeffries was born this day in 1916 in Detroit. In addition to a multi-phase career as a jazz singer, Jeffries found fame in the 1930s and '40s as one of the first black cowboy actors.
On this night in 2001, The Jazz Foundation of America held an all-star event hosted by Bill Cosby at Harlem's Apollo Theatre to benefit its Jazz Musicians' Emergency Fund. The talent roster for "A Great Night in Harlem" included Cassandra Wilson, Nnenna Freelon, Slide Hampton, Randy Brecker, Paquito D'Rivera, Ahmad Jamal, Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Ray Barretto, Clark Terry, Max Roach, Joanne Brackeen, George Coleman, Chris Anderson, Bob Cranshaw, Lou Donaldson, Frank Foster, Billy Hart, Louis Hayes, Roy Haynes, Howard Johnson, Junior Mance, Cecil Payne and Phil Woods.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... Jon Faddis and Geri Allen have organized an all-star lineup of musicians in tribute to the late, great trumpet master Fats Navarro tonight at the Jazz Standard. The Joe Lovano nonet is at the Village Vanguard this week. The John Patitucci Quartet with Luciana Souza, Ed Simon and Eric Harland is at Iridium through Sunday. The Dave Douglas septet is at Tonic tonight.
Guitarist Garrison Fewell's trio is at the Regattabar in Cambridge, Mass., tonight. The Willem Breuker Kollektief is at the Iron Horse in Northhampton, Mass.
In Chicago... Men of Note are at Andy's tonight. Jimmy Sutton's Four Charms are at the Green Mill. Marian McPartland's trio is at the Jazz Showcase this week. Ken Cheney is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium tonight. Von Freeman and Friends are at the New Apartment Lounge tonight. Marshall Vente is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Dan Cray trio is at Pops for Champagne.
In New Orleans... the Ted Hefko quartet and Michael Skinkus's Moyuba are at the Blue Nile tonight. Maurice Brown's Hot Six are at the Funky Butt. Fred Sanders and Paul Longstreth are at Le Salon at Windsor Court. The ReBirth Brass Band is at the Maple Leaf. Rob Wagner's trio is at the Seaport Cafe. Harold Battiste and the Next Generation are at Snug Harbor. The Ian McPhail quintet and Son del Pantano are at the Spotted Cat. Naked on the Floor is at d.b.a.
In California... saxophonist Chris Potter's quartet is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight. George Duke is at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood tonight. The Gina Saputo quintet is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton. The Vince Lateano trio featuring pianist Leonard Thompson is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco. The Dave Holland Big Band is at Yoshi's in Oakland through Sunday.
On the recording front...
The Classical Jazz Quartet, featuring Ron Carter and Kenny Barron, is out with its latest recording -- "Plays Bach," a new album on Vertical Jazz Records. It uses a half-dozen of the 17th century baroque composer's eminent creations as a springboard for jazz invention and improvisation.
Pianist Eliane Elias's new recording, "Kissed by Nature," is out today on RCA/Bluebird.
The Sharp Nine label is out today with the latest recording by Dena DeRose, the singer-pianist's "Love's Holiday" with trumpeters Jim Rotondi, Brian Lynch and Tony Kadleck, trombonist Steve Davis, vibes player Joe Locke, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Matt Wilson. Pianist Bill Charlap is special guest on one track, "The Nearness of You."
Singer Tierney Sutton is out with "Something Cool," her fourth release overall, and third for Telarc Jazz. It contains a mix of songs from "Route 66" to Willie Nelson's "Crazy," all artfully done with exquisite and creative arrangements by Sutton and her longtime trio, featuring Christian Jacob on piano, Trey Henry on bass and Ray Brinker on drums.
Gato Barbieri's newest recording, "The Shadow of the Cat," is out today on Peak Records. Special guests include trumpeter Herb Alpert, who produced two of Barbieri's most successful albums on his old A&M label, guitarist Peter White, singer Cassandre Reed and Peak Records co-founder Russ Freeman.
"Brazilian Dreams," featuring Paquito D'Rivera and New York Voices, is out today on the Pittsburgh-based Manchester Craftsmen's Guild's MCG Jazz label. It documents D'Rivera's love of Brazilian music, particularly the melodies of Antonio Carlos Jobim. Trumpeter Claudio Roditi is also featured on the CD.
Kermit Ruffins" latest from Basin Street Records, due in stores today, is "The Big Easy."
Saxophonist Dave Koz recently gathered his buddies Rick Braun, Norman Brown, David Benoit, Brian Culbertson and Peter White to record "Golden Slumbers: A Father's Lullaby," a set of sleepy-time favorites including "Brahms' Lullaby" and "Hush Little Baby." The album also will include original tunes and sedating versions of two songs from the Lennon/McCartney songbook, among other covers.
"Golden Slumbers" is intended to be played in the nursery, music for the child who can't get any shut-eye. Koz credits his sister-in-law, Unique, who was having trouble getting her daughter to sleep. Koz says she discovered most of the lullaby recordings on the market were very lively and bright and seemed to stimulate the baby rather than soothe and relax her. The CD is the first disc for Redezvous Entertainment, a new label co-founded by Koz, Hyman Katz and Frank Cody.
Columbia Legacy Jazz has released today a four-CD set called "Charlie Christian: The Genius of the Electric Guitar." It is the first comprehensive collection of the artist's work during his years with the Benny Goodman sextet and orchestra, from 1939-1941. It also includes an appearance with the Metronome All Star Nine and a jam session recording of his last recorded date with the Goodman band, March 13, 1941, three months before he was diagnosed with and a year before Christian died from tuberculosis.
Chesky Records is out today with a session called "4 Generations of Miles." The four one-time Miles Davis sidemen united on this project are bassist Ron Carter, drummer Jimmy Cobb, tenor saxophonist George Coleman and guitarist Mike Stern.