Today is Jan. 5.
Cornetist Wild Bill Davison was born this day in 1906 in Defiance, Ohio. For most of the 1930s, Davison played traditional jazz in Milwaukee. It was in the beer capital of America that Davison almost saw his career ended by a lip injury in 1939, when a flying beer mug hit him in the mouth.
He recovered, and within two years moved east and began making his mark on the New York jazz scene. Davison was a prolific recording artist and performer until his death in 1989.
Clarinetist Joe Marsala was born in 1907 in Chicago. In the 1970s he made some terrific late-career recordings with cornetist Bobby Hackett and singer Tony Bennett.
Trumpeter Dizzy Reece was born this day in 1931 in Kingston, Jamaica.
Drummer and longtime Pat Metheny sideman Paul Wertico was born this day in 1953 in Chicago.
On this day in 1937, trumpeter Harry James signed on with the Benny Goodman band. He only stayed two years, but in that short time became the finest trumpet soloist Goodman ever had. In 1939, James left to form his own band.
This also was the day, in 1979, when bass player, visionary composer and bandleader Charles Mingus died in Cuernevaca, Mexico. He was 56. Suffering from Lou Gehrig's Disease, Mingus went to Mexico to seek help from a local healer. On the day he was cremated, newspapers reported 56 whales were discovered beached along Mexico's shoreline and were burned.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... Steve Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra is at the Jazz Standard. The McCoy Tyner is at Iridium with special guest Michael Brecker. C Michael White's Original Liberty Jazz Band of New Orleans is at the Village Vanguard. The Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band is at Birdland.
The Chick Corea New Trio with Avishai Cohen and Jeff Ballard plus special guest Gary Burton are at the Blue Note tonight while Mari Koga is featured this afternoon at the club's East Meets West jazz brunch. Trombonist Chris Washburne and his SYOTOS band bring Latin jazz to Smoke on the Upper West Side each Sunday night.
In Chicago... pianist Barry Harris is at the Jazz Showcase tonight. Judy Roberts and Greg Fishman are at The Chambers in Niles. The Chicago Jazz Orchestra with Frieda Lee is at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn. The Kimberly Gordan trio is at the Green Mill, The Sonny Turner quintet is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium. Tim Green and Tim McNamara are at Katerina's this noon. Kara Kesselring is at Philander's in Oak Park tonight. The Russell Alan Rowe trio is at Pops for Champagne.
In New Orleans... Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. The Hot Club of New Orleans swing band is at the Circle Bar. Heather and the Monkey King are at Cobalt tonight. Warren Battiste and Friends are at El Matador. Big Sam's Funky Nation and Evan Howard are at the Funky Butt. Trombone Shorty is at the Maple Leaf. Lucien Barbarin and the Sunday Night Swingsters are at the Palm Court. The Olympia Brass Band is at Preservation Hall. The James Singleton quartet is at Snug Harbor.
In California... the Jared Schonig band is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight. There's a matinee performance by the Aaron Parks trio. There's a jazz jam tonight at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton. The Page Cavanaugh trio is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks tonight. The Sunday Jazz Band features Doug Webb on saxophone at Charlie O's in Valley Glen. The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars featuring James Moody, Slide Hampton and Jon Faddis are at Yoshi's in Oakland.