Pianist Bud Powell was born this day in 1924 in New York. He was a true jazz innovator, both talented and troubled during his 1940s and '50s heyday. His piano style has been best described as a percussive attack sounding much like a harsh-toned saxophone. Five thousand people lined the streets of Harlem in August 1966 for the funeral of Earl "Bud" Powell, undisputed as music's Earl of Harlem.
Trumpeter Red Rodney was born this day in 1927 in Philadelphia. He was a bristling bebop player who made his imprint in jazz side by side with Charlie Parker in Parker's quintet. Rodney died from cancer in 1994.
Composer and baritone saxophonist Hank Levy, a longtime Stan Kenton band member, was born this day in 1927 in Baltimore. He died last week at age 73.
Matt Wilson, one of the New York jazz scene's most interesting drummers, was born this day in 1964 in Knoxville, Ill. He made his mark with bandleaders Dewey Redman and Cecil McBee, and now leads his own adventuresome band.
Drummer and mystery writer Bill Moody was born this day in 1943. California-based Moody is the author of the Evan Horne Mystery series, which features a pianist as a music-related crime solver.
On this day in 1912, songwriter W.C. Handy's "Memphis Blues" was published. It soon became an integral part of the standard jazz repertoire, followed in 1914 by "St. Louis Blues" and in 1916 by the "Beale Street Blues."
This also was the day in 1947 when promoter Norman Granz brought his high-flying Jazz at the Philharmonic tour to New York for a historic concert at Carnegie Hall. The all-star band cut a version of "Perdido" that set the early standard for live performance recordings in jazz.
On this day in 2001, Jazz at Lincoln Center opened its 2001-02 concert season with the first installment in its "Singers Over Manhattan" series. Jimmy Scott and Carmen Lundy shared the spotlight at the Kaplan Penthouse.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... the Jimmy Smith quartet with Mark Whitfield, Bill Easley and Jimmy Jackson is at Iridium. The Joe Lovano nonet is at the Village Vanguard this week. The second annual Hank Mobley Festival continues at the Jazz Standard. Robert Randolph and the Family Band are at Irving Plaza tonight and Saturday. Kendra Shank's trio plays at the 55 Bar tonight. Singer Jimmy Scott is at the Pythodd Lounge in Rochester tonight and Saturday.
Singer Kim Trusty's jazz quintet is at CAV in Providence, R.I., tonight.
Acoustic Alchemy is at Scullers jazz club in Boston tonight and Saturday. Medeski, Martin and Wood are at the Orpheum in Boston.
Pianist Jovino Santos Neto's trio with bassist Santi Debriano and drummer Matt Kane is at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Great Stair Hall tonight. The 5 p.m. performance is free with museum admission.
Pianist Kenny Barron's "Cantra Brasil" band and Claudia Acuna are in the Terrace Theater, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., tonight.
The 22nd annual Savannah, Ga., Jazz Festival continues its weeklong celebration of "divas in jazz" tonight with the University of North Florida student jazz ensemble featuring Gina Rene, the Ingrid Jensen quintet and singer Rene Marie and the Savannah Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Doug Richards.
Ritmo Caliente Del Caribe Orchestra performs tonight in Hollywood, Fla., as part of the City of Hollywood concert series. The band is lead by flutist/saxophonist/composer Bobby Ramirez. The street location of the stage is on Hollywood Blvd. and 20th Street near SunTrust Bank.
Charged Particles perform tonight at The Bird of Paradise Jazz Club in Ann Arbor, Mich. The String Trio of New York conducts a workshop on improvisation at The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids tonight.
In Chicago... the Ken Saydak Blues Show is at Andy's tonight. Judy Roberts is at The Chicago Firehouse. The Marian McPartland trio is at the Jazz Showcase through Sunday. Skinny Williams is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium tonight. The King Fleming trio is at Philander's in Oak Park.
In New Orleans... David Torkanowsky is at Cobalt. The Treme Brass Band is at Donna's. Domenic Fusca is at El Matador. The Devin Phillips quartet is at the Funky Butt. Topsy Chapman and Brian O'Neill are at Satchmo's jazz room in Harrah's casino. The Joe Krown Organ Combo is at Le Bon Temps Roule.
The Michael Pierce trio is at Le Salon at the Windsor Court. Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen are at the Maple Leaf. The Ernie Elly Slickshots are at the Palm Court with singer Thais Clark. The Panorama Jazz Band is at the Seaport Cafe. The New Orleans Jazz Vipers and the Latin band Saudade are at Spotted Cat.
Herbie Hancock's quartet is at Ham Concert Hall in Las Vegas tonight.
In California... pianist John Opferkuch, saxophonist Paul Sundfor, bassist Rob Thorsen and drummer Tim McMahon are at Dizzy's in San Diego tonight. Saxophonist Chris Potter's quartet is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. Al Viola's quartet is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks tonight. George Duke is at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood tonight. Saxophonist Red Hollloway is featured with the John Heard trio tonight and Saturday at Charlie O's in Valley Glen. The Dekajaz tentet is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton. The Vince Lateano trio with pianist Mark Levine is at Jazz at Pearl's is San Francisco. The Dave Holland Big Band is at Yoshi's in Oakland through Sunday.
Holland's Willem Breuker Kollektief is at Casa del Popolo in Montreal tonight.