Today is Dec. 8.
On this date in 1957, something wonderful occurred in a CBS television studio in New York. The Red Allen All-Stars, singer Billie Holiday, the Mal Waldron All-Stars, the Count Basie All-Stars and Jimmy Giuffre went on live television for a show that was part of the "The Seven Lively Arts" series.
This pioneering show was called "The Sound of Jazz" and 44 years later it remains one of the finest programs of its kind. One viewer quickly wrote to CBS it was a rare chance to "see real people doing something that really matters to them."
Jimmy Smith, acknowledged as the first important jazz player on the Hammond B-3 organ, was born this day in 1925 in Norristown, Pa. Smith's career took off in 1957 after an appearance at Birdland New York and at the Newport Jazz Festival.
Sol Yaged, inspired by Benny Goodman to take up the clarinet, was born this day in 1922. Yaged was technical adviser for the film "The Benny Goodman Story." He taught Steve Allen to play clarinet for his film role as Goodman.
Jazz guitarist Lawrence Lucie was born this day in 1907 in Emporia, Va. He worked with Duke Ellington, Benny Carter, Fletcher Henderson, Coleman Hawkins and Louis Armstrong at various points in his long career.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... the Bill Mays trio is at The Jazz Standard tonight. Guitarist Lee Ritenour is at the Blue Note... while today's East Meets West Jazz Brunch features the Kengo Nakamura Tri-Band. There's a double Hammond B-3 blowout at Iridium featuring Jimmy McGriff and Dr. Lonnie Smith, with special guests Houston Person and Melvin Sparks. The Geri Allen trio is at the Village Vanguard.
Singer Judi Silvano and friends present the music and lyrics of Mark Murphy tonight at the Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village. Those friends are singers Lincoln Briney, Linda Ciofalo, Marcelino Feliciano, Kyoko Kitamura, Mary Pearson, Barbara Sfraga, Tessa Souter, Gabriella Tranchina and Roseanna Vitro, with Joshua Wolff at the piano and Essiet Okun Essiet playing bass.
Pianist Armen Donelian holds a CD release concert for his latest recording, "Mystic Heights," tonight at the In House. Chris Washburne's SYOTOS Latin jazz band is at Smoke.
The Raices Latin Music Museum presents a panel discussion at Boys Harbor, this afternoon on "Dance Mania: The Palladium Ballroom as Cultural Phenomenon." It will be followed by music and dancing featuring the Harbor Latin Big Band under the direction of Louis Bauzo. A panel of Palladium dancers, Cuban Pete, Tony "Peanuts" Aubert, Carmen Cruz and Barbara Craddock, will share their memories and techniques.
Singer Roseanna Vitro at Trumpets in Montclair, N.J., tonight.
The North Star Jazz Ensemble will perform a holiday concert in celebration of its latest release "Mistletoe Sax" with the Woodvale String Quartet tonight at the Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, R.I.
Pianist James Williams is at TK's Jazz Cafe in Boston tonight.
In Cleveland... Tony Bennett is at the Palace Theater tonight. Pianist Mulgrew Miller's trio is at Vina Note. Saxophonist Ernie Krivda's Swing City band is at the Tri-C East Campus Lecture Lab in Highland Hills this afternoon.
On the Chicago jazz scene... Monty Alexander, Russell Malone and John Clayton are at the Jazz Showcase. Judy Roberts and Greg Fishman are at The Chambers in Niles. The Chicago Skyliner's Big Band is at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn. The Kimberly Gordan trio is at the Green Mill. The NIA Quintet is at HotHouse. The Sonny Turner quintet is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium. Kara Kesselring is at Philander's in Oak Park. Bradley Williams presents a Holiday Candlelight concert tonight at Pops for Champagne.
In New Orleans tonight... Earl Brown's trio is at Cafe Sbisa. The Shannon Powell quartet is at Donna's. Linnzi Zaorski, Delta Royale and Warren Battiste are at El Matador. Ryan Burrage and His Rhythmakers are at Fritzel's. Big Sam's Funky Nation and Evan Howard are at the Funky Butt.
Lucien Barbarin and the Sunday Night Swingsters are at the Palm Court. The Olympia Brass Band is at Preservation Hall. Ed Petersen and Doug Bickel are at Snug Harbor. Superfly presents Medeski, Martin and Wood at Tipitina's Uptown.
Pianist Ted Rosenthal's trio performs tonight at Murry's in Columbia, Mo., as part of the "We Always Swing" jazz series.
On the California jazz scene... Jimmy Scott is at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. The CJS Quintet with Art Hillery is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. Poncho Sanchez and his Latin jazz band are at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton. The Sunday Jazz Band features saxophonist Charles Owens at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight. The Stanley Clarke band is at Yoshi's in Oakland. The Afro-Semitic Experience is at the Hall of Culture of the African American Arts and Culture Complex in San Francisco tonight.
Tierney Sutton's band is at the Palm Springs Desert Museum tonight. Smooth-jazz saxophonist Dave Koz brings the sixth annual "A Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour" with David Benoit, Rick Braun, Brenda Russell and Peter White to the McCallum Theatre in Palm Springs.