Trumpeter Wendell Culley was born this day in 1906 in Worcester, Mass. He worked with Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton and Count Basie, principally as a section player. Culley was featured on solos in Hampton's first recordings of "Airmail Special" and "Midnight Sun" and Basie's "Li'l Darlin'."
On this night in 2001, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' 10-part "Jazz" series begins airing on PBS stations across the United States. The 19-hour series was six years and $13 million in the making -- and even more ambitious than his acclaimed series on the Civil War in 1990 and baseball in 1994.
Drummer Dave Weckl was born this day in 1960.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
The 30th annual International Association for Jazz Education opens its four-day gathering today at Canada's Metro Toronto Convention Centre. It's the first time the huge jazz industry gathering has been held outside the continental United States.
A gala dinner tonight hosted by Nancy Wilson will honor pianist Oscar Peterson. Tonight's concert will feature the Yellowjackets, Chucho Valdes, Marlon Simon and the Nagual Spirits and Jane Bunnett and Spirits of Havana. The four-day event schedule is filled with jazz-related symposiums, band showcases, panel discussions and master classes.
On the New York jazz scene... Nicholas Payton and The Soul Patrol and the Danilo Perez trio are at the Blue Note through Sunday. The Gonzalo Rubalcaba trio is at Iridium this week with special guest David Sanchez. Donald Harrison's Congo Nation Tribe is at the Jazz Standard through Saturday. Barbara Carroll is at Birdland tonight.
In and around Boston... Marta Gomez and Friends are at The Regattabar in Cambridge tonight. Freddie Hubbard and The New Jazz Composers Octet are at Scullers jazz club in Boston tonight and Thursday.
In Chicago... Henry Johnson's Organ Express is at Andy's tonight. The Ron Smith duo is at Bistro America in Batavia. Mike Finnerty and the Jazz Hippies are at Cafe Ennui. The Bill Porter Orchestra with Rich Fudoli is at Green Dolphin Street. The Brass Tracks Big Band is at Hackney's. Ken Saydak is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium.
The Matt Erion trio is at Michael's Jazz Bistro in suburban Glen Ellyn. The Ron Perrillo trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston. Jackie Allen and Judy Roberts are at Philander's in Oak Park. The Alison Ruble trio is at Pops for Champagne. The Dave Flippo duo is at Pops of Highwood. Vincent Davis and friends are at the Velvet Lounge.
On the New Orleans jazz scene... Brian Prunka is at the Blue Nile tonight. Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. New Orleans Street Beat is at the Crescent City Brewhouse. Leigh "Little Queenie" Harris is at Dos Jefes. The Soul Rebels Brass Band is at El Matador. The Jim Markway quartet is at the Funky Butt.
Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers are at Le Bon Temps Roule. The New Orleans Jazz Brass Band is at Lounge Lizards. The Johnny Vidacovich trio is at the Maple Leaf. The Jerry Embree Swing Band is at Mid-City Rock 'n' Bowl. John Brunious leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. Evan Christopher is at Snug Harbor.
In California... the Benny Golson quartet is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight through Sunday. Elliott Caine's quintet is at Steamer's Jazz Cafe in Fullerton tonight. The John Heard trio is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight. The Ramon Banda trio is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. The Vince Lateano trio is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco with saxophonist Charles McNeal. Steve Turre's Sanctified Shells with Pharoah Sanders and Jon Faddis are at Yoshi's in Oakland.
On the recording front...
Savoy Jazz has acquired the catalogue of 32 Records, which includes the traditional jazz labels Muse and Landmark, founded by Joe Fields and Orrin Keepnews respectively. Savoy Jazz is a subsidiary of CME (Columbia Music Entertainment, formerly Nippon Columbia), the Japan-based recorded music company with operations in both the United States and Asia.
Featuring recordings from a who's who of jazz artists including Grant Green, Pat Martino, Woody Shaw, Bobby Hutcherson, Kenny Burrell, Houston Person and Donald Byrd, the 32 Records label also created the enormously successful "Jazz for a Rainy Day" series -- the best selling jazz mid-line collection ever. That series will be relaunched under the Savoy label in late January for Valentine¹s Day promotions in updated packaging using the original covers.
Savoy Jazz also has signed several new artists to its roster. Vice President Steve Backer says the label is working on projects by saxophonist James Moody, singers Andy Bey and Carol Welsman, flutist Hubert Laws and a collective group featuring saxophonist Mark Turner, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard.
Moody's connection to Savoy dates back to 1946 on the classic Bebop Boys date led by Ray Brown and his All-Stars. His biggest hit, "Moody's Mood for Love," was recorded in 1949. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001.