Today is Dec. 17.
Trumpeter and arranger Sy Oliver was born this date in 1910 in Battle Creek, Mich. His achieved a lot of fame during his 1934-39 tenure with the Jimmy Lunceford band and went on to become a favorite arranger of Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.
Jazz and blues pianist Al Williams was born this day in 1919 in Memphis. He wrote arrangements for many of the Chicago jazz bands in the 1940s, toured Europe with Buck Clayton and Johnny Hodges, and played on Clayton's "Copenhagen Concert" album in 1959.
Bass player John Ore was born this day in 1933 in Philadelphia. In the 1950s and 60s, he worked with Lester Young, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell, Teddy Wilson and Thelonious Monk. He's a fixture in the Sun Ra Jazz Arkestra, now under the direction of Marshall Allen.
Saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. died this night in 1999 after suffering a heart attack shortly after taping a network television show -- The CBS Early Morning Show -- in New York. He was 56.
This was the day, in 1951, when saxophonist Sonny Rollins went into the recording studio for the first time as a leader for the Prestige label.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... Jackie McLean and the Cedar Walton trio are at the Village Vanguard this week. Singers Jane Monheit and Andy Bey are at the Blue Note. Ann Hampton Callaway is at The Jazz Standard tonight through Sunday. The Ahmad Jamal trio is at Iridium. Catherine Dupuis is at Chez Suzette tonight. The Charene Dawn quintet is at the Zinc Bar tonight and Wednesday.
Saxophonist Philippe Crettien is at the Center for the Arts in Natick, Mass.
On the Philadelphia jazz scene... Elio Villafranca is at North by Northwest. The Victor North trio is at Chris's Jazz Cafe.
On the Chicago jazz scene... saxophonist Benny Golson is featured with the Mike Kocour trio tonight through Sunday at the Jazz Showcase. Men of Note are at Andy's tonight. Jimmy Sutton's Four Charms are at the Green Mill. Ken Cheney is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium. Alfonso Ponticelli and Swing Gitan are at Katerina's. Von Freeman and Friends are at the New Apartment Lounge on Tuesday nights. Marshall Vente is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Peter Lerner trio presents a "Six-String Christmas" at Pops for Champagne.
On the New Orleans jazz scene... the Rockin' Blues Tones and the Ted Hefko quartet are at the Blue Nile. Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. Ingrid Lucia is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Chi-Town Maurice Brown is at the Funky Butt. Topsy Chapman is at Satchmo's jazz room in Harrah's. Dr. Bone and the Hepcats are at Lounge Lizards.
The ReBirth Brass Band is at the Maple Leaf tonight. Gregg Stafford leads the band tonight at Preservation Hall. Rob Wagner trio is at the Seaport Cafe. The Jason Marsalis quintet is at Snug Harbor. Linnzi Zaorski and Delta Royale and Son del Pantano are the Spotted Cat tonight.
On the California jazz scene... Howlett Smith is at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight with his Christmas concert, "The Carpenter." The Chris Williams quintet is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton this afternoon. This is John Pisano's Guitar Night at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. Saxophonist Don Menza is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen. Gilbert Castellanos leads the Tuesday night jam at the Onyx Room in San Diego. The Charlie Hunter Group is at Yoshi's in Oakland tonight through Christmas Eve.