Today is Feb. 28.
Trumpeter and bandleader Lee Castle was born this day in 1915 in New York. He was a featured soloist with many of the major jazz big bands. After Jimmy Dorsey's death in 1957, Castle took over leadership of the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.
Danish violinist Svend Asmussen was born this day in 1916 in Copenhagen, Denmark. His musical partnerships ranged from the Mills Brothers to Fats Waller to Duke Ellington. In 1966, he made a Violin Summit recording with Stephane Grappelli, Jean-Luc Ponty and Stuff Smith.
Jazz and Latin percussionist and bandleader Willie Bobo was born this day in New York in 1934.
On this day in 1945, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie recorded together for the first time. The session was for the Guild label. Their band included Clyde Hart, Remo Palmieri, Slam Stewart and Cozy Cole. This session produced the first full-blooded bebop tracks on record, including "Shaw Nuff," "Hot House" and "Salt Peanuts."
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... Maynard Ferguson and His Big Bop Nouveau Band are at The Blue Note. The Joe Lovano quartet is at the Village Vanguard through Sunday. Drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts' quintet is at Iridium this week.
Drummer Matt Wilson's quartet is at The Jazz Standard tonight through Sunday. The Pete Malinverni trio is at the Jazz Gallery tonight. Steve Turre is at Smoke tonight and Saturday. Flutist Jill Allen's band is at The Garage tonight.
Jazz at Lincoln Center's Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra led by Arturo O'Farrill is at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts tonight and the Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture in the Bronx on Saturday.
In greater Boston... the Marian McPartland trio is at Scullers jazz club tonight and Saturday. Alan Silva and the Celestial Communications Orchestra are at Emmanuel Church in Boston tonight. The Jose de Santos-Val Ramos-Jose Ramos Flamenco Trio is at the Regattabar in Cambridge. The Ken Clark organ trio is at Ryles in Cambridge tonight. The Phil Sargent Group is at the Zeitgeist Gallery in Cambridge.
In Philadelphia... saxophonist George Barron's trio is at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Café Degas tonight. Jeff Bradshaw is at Zanzibar Blue tonight. Meg Clifton is at Chris's Jazz Cafe, with the Larry McKenna-John Swana quintet.
Guitarist Gene Bertoncini is at the Gardner Theater in Meadville, Pa., tonight.
Singers Allan Harris and Rene Marie are at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater in Washington, D.C., tonight.
Saxophonist Jim Snidero's quartet is at the Blue Wisp in Cincinnati tonight through Sunday.
In Chicago... David "Fathead" Newman's quartet is at the Jazz Showcase through Sunday. Carlos Cannon is at the Backroom. Judy Roberts is at The Chicago Firehouse. Oscar Brown Jr. is at the Green Mill tonight.
Skinny Williams is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium. The Carol Kagy quartet is at Katerina's. The Peter Schwendener quartet is at Michael's Jazz Bistro in Glen Ellyn. The Dave Specter trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston tonight and Saturday. The King Fleming tonight and Saturday.
In New Orleans... the Earl Brown trio is at Cafe Sbisa. David Torkanowsky is at Cobalt. Pharoah Sanders is at Dillard University Lawless Chapel for a free show tonight. Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolias are at Donna's. Wendell Brunious is at Dos Jefes. Michael Ray's Cosmic Krewe is at the Dragon's Den. Jeremy Davenport is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Ryan Burrage and the Rhythm Makers are at Fritzel's. The Devin Phillips Quartet and Maurice Brown's Soul U Out are at the Funky Butt. Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen are at the Maple Leaf. The Ernie Elly Slickshots with Thais Clark are at the Palm Court. Leroy Jones leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. Brian Coogan is at Rene Bistrot. The Panorama Jazz Band is at the Seaport Cafe. Astral Project is at Snug Harbor. Leigh "Little Queenie" Harris is at Southport Hall. The New Orleans Jazz Vipers are at the Spotted Cat. Rites of Swing are at d.b.a.
Pianist Jason Moran and the Bandwagon, featuring saxophonist Sam Rivers, is at Da Camera in Houston tonight.
On the California jazz scene... pianist Benny Green and guitarist Russell Malone bring their duo project to the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles through Sunday. Tony Guererro's Swingfest with Elizabeth Lamers is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton. The Al Viola quartet is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks tonight. Trumpeter Noland Shaheed and the John Heard trio are at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight and Saturday.
Spyro Gyra is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle through Sunday.
On the recording front...
Pianist George Colligan, winner of the 2nd annual Jazzconnect Competition is out with a new CD. George's trio performed live at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., and was recorded by Jazzconnect. This limited edition CD release, "George Colligan Trio -- Live at Blues Alley," is only available on Jazzconnect.com. Colligan is a rising star in New York, where he is in demand as a sideman.
On the recording front...
Bassist Ron Carter's Nonet is out with "Eight Plus" on the Dreyfus Jazz label. The leader plays piccolo bass and his traditional ensemble of piano, double bass, drums and percussion is augmented by a cello quartet.
Pianist Deanna Witkowski has released her latest recording, "Wide Open Window," on the Khaeon World Music label. She is supported by bassist Jonathan Paul, drummer Tom Hipskind and saxophonist Donny McCaslin on tenor and soprano. It is a mix of standards and originals by the leader, who won the 2002 edition of the Great American Jazz Piano Competition. The title track is a blues-laced original dedicated to pianist Mary Lou Williams.
Spyro Gyra has released its latest project, "Original Cinema," on the Head's Up label. Saxophonist Jay Beckenstein says he wanted to distance the band from its smooth jazz perception and dig deeper onto the tenor sax and eclectic funk, postbop and Latin influences.