Bass player Jimmy Blanton was born this date in 1918. He was discovered playing in Mississippi River boat bands in 1939 by Duke Ellington, who hired him on the spot. Blanton's innovative and swinging sound ushered in Ellington's most creative period as a composer. His career was tragically brief. Jimmy Blanton died of tuberculosis in 1942, at age 23.
On this day in 1928, cornetist Bix Beiderbecke recorded five "sides" with the Paul Whiteman and Frankie Trumbauer bands in New York City.
On this day in 1939, the Ted Weems band recorded "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now?" with singer Bing Cosby for the Decca label.
On this day in 1951, trumpeter Miles Davis took one of his earliest "all-star" bands into the studio to record for the Prestige label an album that would be named "Dig." The ambitious recording provided a terrific solo showcases for tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins. Another saxophonist made his recording debut on that session at the tender age of 19. Alto player Jackie McLean showed his own distinctive style on that date.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... singer Jimmy Scott is at Birdland tonight. Drummer Carl Allen and his band New Spirit are at the Jazz Standard through Sunday. Karrin Allyson and Joey DeFrancesco are at the Blue Note this week. 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.
Mark Murphy and Claudia Acuna conclude their Singers Over Manhattan concerts tonight at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. Trumpeter Kermit Ruffins is at the Knitting Factory tonight. Ralph Peterson's quintet is at The Jazz Gallery. Tom Harrell performs tonight at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music's Jazz at the Conservatory Series. Duane Eubanks performs after hours on Saturday nights at The Jazz Gallery. Ron Levy is at the Endicott Performing Arts Center.
David Chevan and the Afro-Semitic Experience and special guest Marty Ehrlich are artists in residence at Temple Sholom in Plainfield, N.J. tonight.
The John Scofield band is at Toad's Place in New Haven, Conn., tonight.
Singer Jimmy Scott begins a book tour today with David Ritz, author of his new biography. They're at the Philadelphia Free Library this afternoon "In Conversation" with WRTI on-air personality Jeff Duperon. Scott and Ritz appear Monday night in Manhattan at the Barnes and Noble in Chelsea and Tuesday night in Washington, D.C. Scott is in Cleveland, at Joseph-Beth Books, on Oct. 15 and Boston, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Oct. 17.
In the Boston area... saxophonist Stan Strickland and Ascension are at the Center for the Arts in Natick tonight.
The Terrace Theater at Washington, D.C., Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, will host Calle 54 The Concert tonight.
Composer and Pianist Miguel Romero will bring the "Cuban Jazz Funk" to the University of North Carolina Asheville's Lipinsky Auditorium.
Singer Nnenna Freelon is at Coker College in Hartsville, S.C., tonight.
Jane Monheit is at the Ohio Theater in Cleveland tonight. Gordon Michaels performs the music of Nat King Cole tonight at the Freedlander Theater at the College of Wooster. The Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey is at the Grog Shop in Cleveland.
Chicago jazz violinist Johnny Frigo returns to the Wealthy Theater in Grand Rapids tonight for a West Michigan Jazz Society concert.
In Chicago... the Chris Potter quartet is at the Jazz Showcase for two more nights. Judy Roberts is at the Chicago Firehouse. Havana is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium on the Navy Pier. Rankinfyle is at Philander's in Oak Park.
In New Orleans... the Blue Universe Quartet is at the Blue Nile. Willie Tee's trio is at Cobalt. There's a tribute to Jimi Hendrix with Astral Project, Leigh Harris, Greg Davis and Renard Poche tonight at the Contemporary Arts Center. New Orleans Streetbeat is at the Crescent City Brewhouse. Ellen Smith and Friends are at Donna's. Jeremy Davenport is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. The Devin Phillips quartet and James Alsanders' Greener Pastures are at the Funky Butt. Topsy Chapman and Louis Ford are at Satchmo's Jazz Room in Harrah's casino. Lionel Ferbos and the Palm Court Jazz Band are at the Palm Court tonight.
The Ernie Elly Slickshots with Thais Clark are at the Palm Court. Charlie Dennard is at Rene Bistrot. The Panorama Jazz Band is at the Seaport Cafe. Michael White and the Liberty Jazz Band are at Snug Harbor. "Kid" Simmons New Orleans Jazz Band is at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park this afternoon. Victor Sirker is at the Louisiana Music Factory this afternoon.
In California... Eddie Palmieri and La Perfecta II are at the Conga Room tonight as part of the Los Angeles edition of the Verizon Music Festival. Quetzal and Julieta Venegas are featured in a free Verizon concert tonight at California Plaza.
Bobby Matos and his Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble are at the 18th Street Arts Complex in Santa Monica this afternoon. The Sweet Baby J'ai Quartet is at Lunaria in West Los Angeles tonight. The Francisco Aguabella Latin Jazz Band is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton tonight. Bill Charlap's trio is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight. Sammy Most guests with the John Heard trio tonight at Charlie O's in Valley Glen. The Kenny Garrett quartet is at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood tonight.
Soulive is at the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz tonight. Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen are at the Boom Boom Room in San Francisco tonight. Gordon Brisker is at Jazz At Pearl's in San Francisco tonight. George Duke is at Yoshi's in Oakland.
The fourth annual Dominican Jazz Festival is under way in the Dominican Republic this weekend with Poncho Sanchez, Chuck Mangione, Bobby Sanabria, Warren Oree and the Arpeggio Jazz and Music Ensemble, Natti Love Joys, Kingsley Ettiene, the Modern Tong Orchestra, Xiomara Fortuna, Soraya Franco and the Mitch Rutman group.