Ferdinand Joseph Lemott, better known to the music world as Jelly Roll Morton, was born this day in 1890. By the time he was 12 years old, he was playing ragtime piano in bordellos in the Storyville section of his native New Orleans.
Morton claimed he invented jazz. That's an exaggeration, but he was the first important jazz composer. Morton's best ensemble work was with his group the Red Hot Peppers. He died in 1941.
Singer Adelaide Hall was born this day in 1904 in New York. She recorded with Duke Ellington and other American jazz and blues greats before marrying, becoming a British citizen and settling in London in 1938.
Drummer Willie Jones was born this day in 1929 in New York. He worked in the 1950s with Thelonious Monk, Cecil Payne, Kenny Dorham, Charlie Parker and Lester Young. He also was a member of Charles Mingus's first Jazz Workshop.
On this night in 2001, clarinetist and big band leader Woody Herman's memory was honored in Los Angeles with a concert in the Douglas Fairbanks Gardens at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where Herman is entombed.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... the Conga Kings featuring percussionists Carlos "Patato" Valdes, Candido Camero and Giovanni Hidalgo are at the Blue Note. Pianist Cyrus Chestnut's trio is at the Jazz Standard. The Bobby Hutcherson quartet is at the Village Vanguard. Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and the New Jazz Composers Octet are at Iridium. Guitarist Dom Minasi's trio holds a compact disc release party tonight at CBGB's Lounge for his new recording, "Goin' Out Again." Chris Washburne and his SYOTOS Latin jazz band are at Smoke tonight.
Clark Terry and Friends are in The Jazz Room this afternoon in the series' 25th anniversary gala at William Paterson University's Shea Center for the Performing Arts in Wayne, N.J.
Singer Kenny Rankin is at Cheney Hall in Manchester, Conn., tonight.
Singer Dee Dee Bridgewater is at Scullers jazz club in Boston tonight.
The Washington, D.C., edition of the 2002 Verizon Music Festival features a free outdoor concert this afternoon with Celia Cruz, emerging vocalist Kevin Ceballo, and trumpeter/percussionist Ray Vega and his Latin jazz sextet at Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets.
The Reel Jazz film series at the Bird of Paradise in Ann Arbor, Mich., tonight features "Odds Against Tomorrow" with music by late pianist John Lewis.
Guitarist Scott Henderson brings his "Well To The Bone" blues-rock tour to the Carefree Theatre in West Palm Beach, Fla., tonight.
On the Chicago jazz scene... the Wallace Roney quintet with alto saxophonist Gary Bartz, Clarence Seay and Lenny White is at the Jazz Showcase. Mike Finnerty and the Jazz Hippies are at Cafe Ennui. The Kimberly Gordan trio is at the Green Mill tonight, while the Chicago Jazz Composers Collective is at the Green Mill this afternoon.
Franz Hautzinger and Gene Coleman are at HotHouse tonight. Sonny Turner's quintet is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium. Kara Kesselring is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Russell Alan Rowe trio is at Pops for Champagne tonight. Judy Roberts and Greg Fishman are at The Chambers in Niles. Lenny King's Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra is at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn.
In New Orleans... Leroy Jones is at Cafe Brasil this evening. The Hot Club of New Orleans is at the Circle Bar. New Orleans Streetbeat is at the Crescent City Brewhouse. The Shannon Powell quartet is at Donna's. Linnzi Zaorski and the Night Blooming Jazzmen are at El Matador. The Evan Howard band and Big Sam's Funky Nation are at the Funky Butt.
Charlie Elliot and Two Pan Sam are at the Lizard Lounge. Trombone Shorty is at the Maple Leaf. There's a Voodoo Jazz Jam tonight at the New Orleans Voodoo Museum. Lucien Barbarin and the Sunday Night Swingsters are at the Palm Court. Riccardo Crespo brings Brazilian jazz to the Pirates Alley Cafe. Captain Cook is at the Spotted Cat. Fred Sanders and Larry Sieberth are at the Windsor Court.
On the California jazz scene... there's a concert in memory of late guitarist John Collins this afternoon at the local musicians' hall in Hollywood. Nancy Wilson headlines the event, which will benefit a scholarship fund created in Collins' memory. The dozens of participating musicians include Monty Alexander, Ernie Andrews, George Bohannon, Kenny Burrell, Freddy Cole, Joe DiOrio, Ron Eschete, Joe Potenza, Sherman Ferguson, John Heard, Red Holloway, Russell Malone, Al McKibbon, Mike Melvoin, Stacey Rowles, Anthony Wilson and Rickey Woodard.
Elsewhere on the California jazz scene... McCoy Tyner's trio is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. Pianist Jon Mayer and Friends are at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. Singer Barbara Morrison is at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood tonight. There's a jam session each Sunday night at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton tonight. Arturo Sandoval is at Yoshi's in Oakland. Mark Levine is at Bacar in San Francisco.
The Omar Sosa octet is at Pavillon in Hannover, Germany, tonight.
On the recording front...
Nashville-based pianist Beegee Adair and her trio have just completed an ambitious project worthy of serious attention. It is a six-CD boxed set paying tribute to six great American composers born roughly 100 years ago. The "Centennial Composers" set on the Green Hill Productions label includes a CD apiece focusing on the music of Irving Berlin, Hoagy Carmichael, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Duke Ellington and Richard Rodgers. Adair's trio-mates are bassist Roger Spencer and drummer Chris Brown.