Guitarist Howard Roberts was born this day in 1929 in Phoenix. After moving to Los Angeles in 1950, he became a prolific and versatile studio musician. Roberts' interest in classical music helped him bring a sophisticated approach to bebop and fusion performances. His first recording, "Mr. Roberts Plays Guitar" was released by Verve in 1957. Howard Roberts died in 1992.
On this day in 2001, the Columbia Legacy Jazz label released "The Miles Davis Story," a two-hour documentary on DVD.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... singer Jimmy Scott is at Birdland through Saturday. In a new biography "Faith in Time: The Jazz Life of Jimmy Scott," written by David Ritz, saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman says Scott is "the one singer who seems to create space, or expand space. By being so kicked back, he pushes the time limits and lets you linger in a way that new ideas have time to develop. As a musician, he allows for miracles." In his interviews with Ritz, Scott offers a humorously unvarnished account of his life, including his misadventures with touring, women and drink.
Karrin Allyson and Joey DeFrancesco are at the Blue Note this week. Drummer Carl Allen and his band New Spirit are at the Jazz Standard through Sunday. Guitarists Vernon Reid and James "Blood" Ulmer bring their Band "Raw Blues" into Iridium all week. Pianist Brad Mehldau' s trio is at the Village Vanguard through Sunday. Trumpeter Mac Gollehon's quartet is at the Zinc Bar tonight. Ralph and Timbalaye are at the Arka Lounge tonight.
The Kenny Werner trio with Johannes Weidenmuller and Ari Hoenig is at The Regattabar in Cambridge, Mass. tonight. McCoy Tyner is at Ryles in Cambridge. Jan Peters and the Tom LaMark Orchestra are at Scullers in Boston tonight. Trumpeter Kenny Wheeler's music is showcased tonight at Jordan Hall in Boston.
Trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, just out with a new recording called "Big Easy," is at the Market Street Bar and Grill in Reston, Va., tonight.
Jimmy Smith's band is at Nighttown in Cleveland tonight and Thursday.
Around Chicago... Henry Johnson's Organ Express is at Andy's. Mike Finnerty and the Jazz Hippies are at Cafe Ennui. The Bill Porter Orchestra with Rich Fudoli is at Green Dolphin Street. The Kurt Elling quartet is at the Green Mill on Wednesdays. The Chris Potter quartet is at the Jazz Showcase this week. Ken Saydak is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium tonight. The Ron Perrillo trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston. Jackie Allen and Judy Roberts are at Philander's in Oak Park. The Alison Ruble trio is at Pops for Champagne.
In New Orleans... Lenny McDaniel is at Cobalt tonight. Leigh "Little Queenie" Harris is at Dos Jefes. Ingrid Lucia is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Jim Markway is at the Funky Butt. Louis Ford is at Satchmo's Jazz Room in Harrah's casino. Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers are at Le Bon Temps Roule. The Jerry Embree Swing Band is at Mid-City Lanes Rock'n'Bowl. The Palm Court Jazz Band with special guest Tommy Sanction is at the Palm Court. John Brunious leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. John Mahoney's Eighteen Aces are at Snug Harbor. Dr. Guitar and the Franklin Avenue Overpass and the Latin band Otra are at the Spotted Cat. The Ian McPhail quintet is at d.b.a.
On the California jazz scene... Bela Fleck and the Flecktones are at UCLA's Royce Hall tonight as part of the Los Angeles edition of the Verizon Music Festival. Joshua Redman's new Elastic Band with Brian Blade and Sam Yahel is at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood tonight and Thursday. Bill Charlap's trio is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles this week. The Dennise Neill quintet with Ron Stout is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton tonight. George Duke's band is at Yoshi's in Oakland through Sunday.
On the recording front...
Tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman's newest release is "Elastic," featuring his trio with Hammond B-3 player Sam Yahel and drummer Brian Blade. It is an adventurous and funky, electric, groove-based project in which Redman also plays keyboards and sometimes alters his sax sound with electronic effects. It's on Warner Bros.
Columbia Legacy Jazz is out today with "Live and Unreleased," a 2-disc set collecting 18 previously unreleased tracks from the early fusion band Weather Report. The supergroup was cofounded by Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul after their collaborations with Miles Davis. It includes the never before released Shorter composition, "Cigano."
Chesky Records is just out with "4 Generations of Miles," a live recording made May 12, 2002, at the club Makor in New York. It features Ron Carter on bass, Mike Stern on guitar, Jimmy Cobb on drums and George Coleman on tenor sax. Each of these ex-Davis sidemen is now a respected leader in his own right. The CD features their interpretations of Davis's best-loved songs from various phases of his career.
Pianist Billy Taylor's latest release "Live at IAJE," was recorded with his trio at the 28th annual conference of the International Association for Jazz Education. His bandmates for this January 2001 session, released by SoundPost Records, are bassist Chip Jackson and drummer Winard Harper.
Savoy Records has marked its 60th anniversary this fall with the release of a double disc compilation called "Savoy @ 60." The 32-track survey includes Charlie Parker's "Parker's Mood," Stan Getz's "Don't Worry 'Bout Me," Kenny Dorham's "Bebop in Pastel," Art Pepper's "These Foolish Things," Miles Davis's "Sippin' at Bells" and Cannonball Adderley's "Bohemia After Dark." Also included are the Savoy pop hit "The Hucklebuck," which was based on Parker's "Now's the Time," and Little Jimmy Scott's first big record, "When Did You Leave Heaven?" The collection features performances by Ben Webster, Milt Jackson, Lester Young, Erroll Garner, Gene Ammons, Billy Eckstine, Marian McPartland, Joe Williams, George Shearing, Lennie Tristano, Fats Navarro and Eddie Jefferson.