Drummer Gus Johnson was born this day in 1913 in Tyler, Texas. He was a sideman for singers Lena Horn and Ella Fitzgerald, and also powered the big bands of Jay McShann, Earl Hines, Count Basie and Woody Herman. Johnson's aggressive, dance-like style made him one of the best drummers Count Basie had after Papa Jo Jones left the band.
Tenor saxophonist Seldon Powell was born this day in 1928 in Lawrenceville, Va. He was a busy studio and free-lance musician in New York, working at times in the big bands of Benny Goodman, Woody Herman and Gerry Mulligan.
On this day in 1934, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey recorded their theme song, "Sandman," for Decca.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... Clark Terry's quintet is at the Village Vanguard. The Joe Lovano quartet is at Iridium. Avishai Cohen's International Vamp Band is at the Jazz Standard this week. Dave Liebman is at Birdland through Saturday.
Singer Abbey Lincoln's quartet is at the Blue Note through Sunday in week two of the club's Fall Vocal Festival. Bassist Ben Wolfe performs with his chamber jazz nonet tonight at Columbia University's Miller Theatre. Eve Cornelious is at the Lenox Lounge in Harlem tonight and Saturday. Singer Cassandra Wilson is at the Performing Arts Center at the State University of New York at Purchase.
Singer Carla White and her trio are at Trumpets in Montclair, N.J., tonight.
The Art of the Trio is celebrated tonight at the Milford, Conn., Center for the Arts with David Chevan, Rex Cadwallader and special guest alto saxophonist Tim Moran.
In and around Boston... Fourplay is at Scullers jazz club in Boston tonight. David Maxwell's Maximum Blues band is at The Regattabar in Cambridge, Mass.
Singer Tierney Sutton's band brings its "Something Cool" tour to Zanzibar Blue in Philadelphia tonight and Saturday.
On the Michigan jazz scene... Branford Marsalis is at the Brighton Center for the Arts in Ann Arbor. The Tom Loncaric Orchestra with singer Paul King precedes singer Lori Lefevre tonight at the Bird of Paradise in Ann Arbor. Caetano Veloso is at the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor. Nancy Wilson and Ramsey Lewis are in concert tonight in the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts in East Lansing.
The ROVA Saxophone Quartet performs tonight at The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, where there also will be a screening of "Letters Not About Love," a film that illustrates the power of art to respect and bridge differences. The film includes music by ROVA, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
In and around Chicago... "Roots 'N' 'D' Blues," a jazz opera featuring Ameen Muhammad and Oscar Brown Jr., is performed tonight at La Follette Park. The Sam Rivers trio is at the Jazz Showcase this week. The Chris Lega-Pat Mallinger quintet is at Andy's tonight. Judy Roberts is at The Chicago Firehouse. Jerry Steinhilber is at the Green Mill tonight with George Garzone. The Andy Meacham trio is at Michael's Jazz Bistro in Glen Ellyn. The King Fleming Trio is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Rachel Charson quartet is at Pops for Champagne. Tight Like That is at Pops of Highwood.
In New Orleans... the Earl Brown Trio is at Cafe Sbisa tonight. David Torkanowsky is at Cobalt. The Treme Brass Band is at Donna's tonight. Jeremy Davenport is at the Ritz-Carlton's French Quarter Bar. James Rivers is at the Fine Arts Center. Jack Maheu and Friends are at Fritzel's European Jazz Pub. Tom Hook and Topsy Chapman are at Satchmo's jazz room at Harrah's. The Hot Club of New Orleans swing band is at d.b.a. tonight.
Tony Dagradi and Ronald Markham are at Le Salon at Windsor Court. The Ernie Elly Slickshots with Thais Clark are at the Palm Court. The French Quarter Citizens for Preservation of Residential Quality Inc. present a fundraiser tonight featuring the Tim Laughlin Band with Debbie Davis. Trumpeter Leroy Jones leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. The Panorama Jazz Band is at the Seaport Café. Ellis Marsalis is at Snug Harbor.
In California... singer Mark Murphy is at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight. The John Heard trio and special guest Rickey Woodard are at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight. Micki Rhyne is at Steamer's Jazz Cafe in Fullerton tonight with the Mark Massey trio. Beryl Davis is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks with the Page Cavanaugh trio tonight. Marian McPartland is at Yoshi's in Oakland tonight. Cookie Wong is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco tonight and Saturday. Singer Rebecca Adams is at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz tonight.
McCoy Tyner's trio is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle through Sunday.
Pianist David Haney's tour of Argentina in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the "Fotojazzeando" jazz performance series makes a stop tonight at the Valentín Bianchi Winery in San Rafael.
Police: Sword-wielding man demanded free tacos
Puzzle-maker slips 'Murdoch Is Evil' into Rupert Murdoch's Sunday Telegraph