Today is Oct. 31.
Singer Ethel Waters was born this day in 1896 in Chester, Pa.
Tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet was born this date in 1922 in Broussard, La. He vaulted into the big band spotlight 20 years later with his spirited solo on Lionel Hampton's classic recording of "Flying Home." The extreme range of Jacquet's solo gave birth to a saxophone sound that became known as the "Texas tenor style."
Tenor saxophonist Booker Irvine was born this day in 1930 in Denison, Texas. He worked extensively with Charles Mingus, Roland Hanna and Randy Weston. He died of kidney failure in 1970 at age 39.
Singer-pianist Julia Lee was born this day in 1902 in Boonville, Mo. She worked extensively in Kansas City with brother George Lee's orchestra and later recorded with Jay McShann, Vic Dickenson and Benny Carter. She died in 1958.
Tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm was born this day in 1969 in Racine, Wis.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... 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. Regina Carter's quintet is at the Village Vanguard this week.
Jazz at Lincoln Center continues its "Year of the Drum" celebration tonight through Saturday with three nights of performances honoring drummer Max Roach. This event in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse is called "Freedom Now and Then: The Music of Max Roach." It will feature drummers Ali Jackson and Billy Hart performing music from Roach's career that has spanned more than 60 years.
Wallace Roney's All-Star Quintet with Patrice Rushen, James Spaulding, Buster Williams and Lenny White is at Iridium through Sunday. Singer Kevin Mahogany is at Birdland tonight. Trumpeter Avishai E. Cohen's quintet is at the Jazz Gallery tonight. Timbalero Ralph Irizarry will be with Son Criollo at Gonzalez and Gonzalez tonight to jam for salsa fans.
Medeski, Martin and Wood will be at the Hammerstein Ballroom tonight, continuing their annual tradition of unpredictable New York Halloween performances. The show marks the band's first major New York City appearance since the release of their 10th studio album, "Uninvisible."
The Manhattan School of Music Concert Jazz Band performs the music of trombonist Billy Byers that was made famous by the Count Basie Band. Tonight's concert is at the school's John C. Borden Auditorium.
The Gary Sugal Contemporary Jazz Big Band is in the Wolf's Den at the Mohegan Sun Resort Casino in Uncasville, Conn.
In and around Boston... Nicholas Payton is at Scullers in Boston tonight and Friday.
The Herbie Hancock quartet is at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater in Washington, D.C., tonight.
Sammy Figueroa's Latin Explosion featuring Carlos Averoff is at Van Dyke's Cafe at South Beach in Miami tonight.
Ernie Krivda's Fat Tuesday Big Band is featured tonight at a Masquerade Swing Ball at the Avalon Event Center in Cleveland.
In Chicago tonight... the Jesse Davis quartet is at the Jazz Showcase. Ron Freidman quintet is at Andy's. John Bany, Don Stille and Charles Braugham are at The Chambers in Niles. Judy Roberts is at The Chicago Firehouse. The Steve Million duo is at The Foundry at Fox Valley Mall. Alan Gresik's Swing Shift Orchestra is at the Green Mill. Erwin Helfer and the Chicago Boogie Ensemble are at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium. John Wright is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Elaine Dame quartet presents a "Howl-Ween" benefit for the Anti-Cruelty Society tonight at Pops for Champagne.
In New Orleans... Riccardo Crespo is at Cafe Matrix. The Earl Brown trio is at Cafe Sbisa. Willie Tee is at Cobalt. Evan Christopher and Tom McDermott are at Donna's. Rick Trolsen is at Dos Jefes. Jeremy Davenport is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. David Torkanowsky and Organism, and the Evan Howard band are at the Funky Butt. Louis Ford is at Satchmo's jazz room at Harrah's casino.
The Soul Rebels Brass Band is at Le Bon Temps Roule. Dave Bartholomew leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. Dave Ellington and Chevere are at Snug Harbor. The Hot Club of New Orleans and the Panorama Jazz Band are at the Spotted Cat tonight. The Morning 40 Federation plus ReBirth Brass Band are at Tipitina's tonight. Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers are at Vaughan's. Matt Lemmler and Don Vappie are at the Windsor Court.
Tonight's schedule at the 20th anniversary edition of the San Francisco Jazz Festival features a concert focusing on "leading edge" music. The Tin Hat Trio and Orchestra and the Japonize Elephants perform at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater.
Elsewhere on the California jazz scene... singer Wesla Whitfield is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles through Sunday. Plas Johnson is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks with the Jon Mayer trio tonight. New Orleans drummer Earl Palmer is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight backed by Ernie McDaniel on bass and Tateng Katindig on piano.
Fito Reinoso is featured in a Halloween Dance Party at Yoshi's in Oakland tonight. Saxophonist Bob Kenmotsu is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco with the Vince Lateano trio featuring pianist Matt Clark. Mark Levine and Ken Miller are at Paradise Pizza in San Francisco tonight.
The Omar Sosa octet is at the Cuba Si! Festival in Glasgow, Scotland, tonight.
Singer Jimmy Scott leaves the United States today for a two-week concert tour of Japan.
On the recording front...
Percussionist Steve Kroon is out with a new all-star recording on the Kroon-A-Toon Productions label. His band includes Oscar Hernandez, Ruben Rodriguez, Vince Cherico, Steve Nelson, Mauricio Smith, Tim Ries, Dom Salvador, Lewis Nash, Ron Carter and Houston Person.
Singer-saxophonist Jay Patten has released his fifth album as a leader. This one is a big band project with his Swing Noir Orchestra on Maximus Records. It's called "All in Blue Time." Clarinetist Buddy DeFranco is soloist on four tunes. Jay's primary role these days is as musical director for Crystal Gayle.
Flute player Lori Bell is out with a Brazilian jazz CD called "Lori Bell" on the Beezwax label. It's a trio session with Ron Satterfield on guitar and keyboards and Dave Mackay on piano.
Trumpeter Kermit Ruffins' latest release is "Big Easy." This is Ruffins' seventh recording as a leader and fourth for Basin Street Records. His regular band, the Barbecue Swingers, is aboard, as are special guests including Bill Summers, Davell Crawford, Herlin Riley, Shannon Powell and Juanita Brooks.