Clifford Brown, the trumpet player known to his friends as "Brownie," was born this date in 1930 in Wilmington, Del. During his brief time in the spotlight, Brown became a major stylistic influence on every trumpeter player who followed him.
Brown co-led a brilliant quintet with drummer Max Roach for three years before tragedy cut short his career, and his life, in June 1956. He was 25 when he died in a car crash during a rainstorm on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Pianist Richie Powell and Powell's wife, Nancy, also died in the accident.
Saxophonist and record producer Teo Macero, best known for his work on Miles Davis's finest albums, was born this day in 1925 in Glens Falls, N.Y. He began his long association as Davis's producer in 1957, and the relationship lasted into the 1980s.
On this night in 2001, the 19th annual San Francisco Jazz Festival shined a bright spotlight on one of the Bay Area's musical treasures, celebrating the legacy of bassist Vernon Alley and giving him the festival's 2001 SFJazz Beacon Award for playing a vital role in preserving the traditions and encouraging the growth of jazz in the Bay Area.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... Regina Carter's quintet is at the Village Vanguard this week. Wallace Roney's All-Star Quintet with Patrice Rushen, James Spaulding, Buster Williams and Lenny White is at Iridium through Sunday. Harmonica great Toots Thielemans' 80th birthday celebration is going on this week at the Blue Note. The Illinois Jacquet Big Band celebrates Jacquet's 80th birthday this week at the Jazz Standard. Quizamba brings Brazilian jazz to the Zinc Bar tonight. Kevin Mahogany is at Birdland tonight and Thursday.
Saxophonist Gary Sugal's Contemporary Jazz Big Band is in the Wolf's Den at the Mohegan Sun Resort Casino in Uncasville, Conn., tonight and Friday.
In and around Boston... Gargonz, featuring master saxophonists George Garzone and Jerry Bergonzi with their combined trios -- consisting of bassists Bruce Gertz and John Lockwood and drummers Bob Gulotti and Bob Kaufman -- is at The Regattabar in Cambridge. Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown are at Scullers tonight in Boston.
The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra is at the Highland in Akron, Ohio, tonight.
On the Chicago jazz scene... Jesse Davis's quartet is at the Jazz Showcase through Sunday. Henry Johnson's Organ Express is at Andy's tonight. Mike Finnerty and the Jazz Hippies are at Cafe Ennui on Wednesdays. The Bill Porter Orchestra with Rich Fudoli is at Green Dolphin Street. The Aaron Parks trio is at the Green Mill. The Brass Tracks Big Band is at Hackney's. Ken Saydak is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium. The Alternatives Big Band is at Martyrs. The John Mose trio is at Michael's Jazz Bistro in Glen Ellyn. Ron Perrillo's trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston. Jackie Allen and Judy Roberts are at Philander's in Oak Park. The Peter Lerner trio with Steve Million and Chuck Webb is at Pops for Champagne.
In New Orleans... Lenny McDaniel is at Cobalt. Leigh "Little Queenie" Harris is at Dos Jefes. Ingrid Lucia is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. 3 Now 4 is at the Funky Butt. Louis Ford is at Satchmo's jazz room at Harrah's casino. Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers are at Le Bon Temps Roule. Dr. Guitar and the Franklin Avenue Overpass and the Latin band Otra are at the Spotted Cat tonight. Quintology is at the University of New Orleans' Sandbar room tonight. Darrell Lavigne and Jesse McBride are at the Windsor Court.
Tonight's schedule at the 20th anniversary edition of the San Francisco Jazz Festival features Michel Camilo's trio at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre. The Jack DeJohnette-John Surman duo and the Paul Plimley-Lisle Ellis duo explore the "Art of the Duet" at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater.
Elsewhere on the California jazz scene... singer Tierney Sutton's quartet celebrates her new CD release tonight at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood. Caetano Veloso is at Royce Hall at the University of California Los Angeles Center for the Arts tonight. Singer Wesla Whitfield is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight through Sunday. Theo Saunders' quartet is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. Sherman Ferguson's JazzUnion is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight. Juan-Carlos Formell is at Yoshi's in Oakland tonight. The Vince Lateano trio featuring pianist Matt Clark Is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco.
Mark Helias's Open Loose band is at the Western Front in Vancouver, British Columbia, tonight.
Omar Sosa's trio is at the Pavillon Theater in Brighton, England, tonight.
On the recording front...
Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington is just out with her newest CD, "Jazz is a Spirit" on Germany's ACT label. She's joined by Herbie Hancock, Gary Thomas, Bob Hurst and Paul Bollenback. Other special guests include Wallace Roney, Terence Blanchard, Kevin Eubanks, Katisse Buckingham and Munyungo Jackson. One tribute tune is aptly titled "Mr. Jo Jones."
The latest edition of saxophonist Mel Martin's group, Bebop and Beyond, plays Martin's own music on his new CD, "Friends and Mentors," on Quixotic Records. The band includes Bobby Watson, Jack Walrath, Mike Longo, George Cables, Ray Drummond, Winard Harper and Billy Hart.
Telarc jazz has released a compilation of guitarist Jim Hall's finest recordings for the label since 1995. It's called "Jim Hall Down Beat Critics' Choice" and includes written commentary from Down Beat magazine writers on his impact on modern jazz.
Telarc also is out this fall with the final recording by late bassist Ray Brown, who died in his sleep July 2 after playing golf. The CD, "Ray Brown, Monty Alexander and Russell Malone," is a trio session with a mix of familiar standards and original material. A limited edition pressing contains a second disk highlighting Brown's 13-year tenure with the label.