Today is March 11.
Trombonist Miff Mole was born this day in 1898 in Roosevelt, N.Y. He was a revolutionary trombonist in the 1920s, teaming up on classic recordings with cornetist Red Nichols.
Duke Ellington's only child, son Mercer Ellington, was born this day in 1919 in Washington, D.C. Trained as a trumpeter, Mercer Ellington led the Ellington orchestra for more than 20 years after his father's death. The younger Ellington died of heart failure in February 1996 in Denmark. Now Mercer's son, and Duke's grandson, Paul Mercer Ellington, runs the band.
Versatile singer Bobby McFerrin, a one-man vocal orchestra, was born this day in New York in 1950. His father was an opera singer, his mother a classical soprano. Trained as a pianist, he began singing unaccompanied in 1983.
Jazz violinist Leroy Jenkins, a founding member of the jazz avant-garde movement, was born this day in 1932 in Chicago.
On this day in 1964, tenor saxophonist Ben Webster went into Rudy Van Gelder's New Jersey studio to begin recording the final album he made before moving to Europe because of lack of public interest in his work at home. This session, called "See You At The Fair," was released on the Impulse label and was reissued by MCA/GRP in 1993. Sidemen included Hank Jones, Roger Kellaway, Richard Davis and Osie Johnson.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... drummer Roy Haynes is at the Blue Note this week with Joshua Redman, Scott Colley and Dave Kokoski for his 78th birthday celebration. The Eric Reed septet is at the Village Vanguard through Sunday. The James Carter quintet is at Iridium all week with special guests Lonnie Smith and Steve Turre.
The 3rd annual Jazz Composers Collective Festival opens its weeklong run tonight at The Jazz Standard. Tonight's featured groups are Ben Allison and Medicine Wheel, and saxophonist Michael Blake's Elevated Quartet. The Dafnis Prieto quintet is at the Zinc Bar tonight and Wednesday.
Guitarist Garrison Fewell premieres his new piano-less trio at The Regattabar in Cambridge, Mass., tonight with vibes player Khan Jamal and bassist Cameron Brown. The Joe Beck trio and singer Sarah Brooks are at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Mass., tonight.
In Chicago... Charlie Johnson is at the Backroom. Von Freeman and Friends are at the New Apartment Lounge. The Bobby Broom trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston. Marshall Vente is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Erin McDougald trio is at Pops for Champagne tonight. The Kimberly Gordon quartet is at the Underground Wonder.
On the New Orleans jazz scene... the Ted Hefko quartet and Tondre are at the Blue Nile. Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. The Steve Yocum trio is at Fritzel's. Topsy Chapman is at Harrah's. The ReBirth Brass Band is at the Maple Leaf. Greg Stafford leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. The Maurice Brown band featuring Quamon Fowler is at Snug Harbor. Linnzi Zaorski and Delta Royale, and Son del Pantano are at the Spotted Cat tonight.
In California... trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos leads the Tuesday night jams at the Onyx Room in San Diego. The Kevin Hays trio is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles through Thursday. This is John Pisano's Guitar Night with Howard Alden at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. The Pete Christlieb quartet is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen. The Russell Ferrante quartet is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco. Vital Information, featuring Steve Smith, Tom Coster, Frank Gambale and Baron Browne, is at Yoshi's jazz club in Oakland tonight.
Bluesman Pinetop Perkins is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle tonight and Wednesday.
Omar Sosa is at Salle Nougaro in Toulouse, France, tonight with his quintet with Martha Galarraga, Gustavo Ovalles, El Houssaine Kili and MC Breis.
On the recording front...
Drummer Chambers today releases "Outbreak," his U.S. debut as a leader on ESC Records. It features Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, and John Scofield. Longtime colleague and keyboardist Jim Beard produced the New York session.
Five new Prestige and Milestone twofers will be in stores today. They include "Goin' Down Slow" by Sonny Stitt, combining two of the saxophonist's 1972 sessions, "Goin' Down Slow" (with Hank Jones, George Duvivier, Idris Muhammad) and "So Doggone Good" (with Hampton Hawes, Reggie Johnson, and Lenny McBrowne), and "The Bobby Timmons Prestige Trio Sessions," recorded in 1964 and originally released as "Little Barefoot Soul" and "Chun-King."
"Northern Windows Plus," a reissue of pianist Hampton Hawes' Prestige albums "Playin' in the Yard" from 1973 and "Northern Windows" from 1974 also are included, along with bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik's "Jazz Sounds of Africa," which pairs the New Jazz albums "The Music of Ahmed Abdul-Malik" (1961) and "Sounds of Africa" (1962). "Songs for You" by Ron Carter, which contains the bassist's 1978 Milestone album "A Song for You" as well as 1980's "Parfait," round out the offerings.
Columbia Records new Eighty Eight's imprint is out with its first batch of releases. They are the Max Roach-Clark Terry project "Friendship," trumpeter Eddie Henderson's "So What" with late saxophonist Bob Berg, Ravi Coltrane's "Mad 6" and drummer Roy Haynes' "Love Letters" featuring Kenny Barron, Dave Holland, Dave Kikoski, Christian McBride, Joshua Redman and John Scofield.
Canada's Justin Time label is out today with trumpeter Russell Gunn's latest CD, "Ethnomusicology, Volume 3."
"Strings," the Milestone debut by alto saxophonist Jim Snidero, is in stores today. It fulfills his longtime dream of recording a jazz album with strings. His rhythm section includes Renee Rosnes, Paul Gill and Billy Drummond and his featured strings soloists are violinist Mark Feldman and cellist Tomas Ulrich.
The album's centerpiece is the three-part "River Suite," inspired by the Hudson River. On Friday, March 14, the suite will receive its world premiere at the Interlochen, Mich., Center for the Arts, performed by Snidero and the Interlochen Symphony Orchestra.
Keyboardist Jeff Lorber wanted to capture the sounds of his hometown of Philadelphia on his 16th and newest album, "Philly Style," his first for the Narada record label. Like the historic city itself, the recording is described by Lorber as funky, jazzy, soulful, cosmopolitan, colorful, uplifting, soothing, cozy and lyrical without words. Lorber produced "Philly Style" with fellow Philadelphian Steve Lorber, who composed or co-wrote nine songs and recorded a cover version of hip hop outfit The Goodie Mob's "Soul Food." Saxophonists Richard Elliot and Gary Meek make guest appearances on this blend of jazz and R&B.
Pianist Jessica Williams is out with her second CD for the MaxJazz label. On the heels of her trio project last year, this is a solo piano exploration of standards. They include "As Time Goes By," "In A Sentimental Mood," "They Say It's Wonderful," "Don't Explain," "Warm Valley," "Orange Was the Color of Her Dress Then Blue Silk," and "Too Young to Go Steady." There are also four Williams originals, "Toshiko," "The Sheikh," "Bill's Beauty," and "The Quilt."
Bassist John Patitucci is out with his latest, "Songs, Stories and Spirituals." It's being released today by Concord Jazz and features Patitucci with pianist Edward Simon, drummer Brian Blade and singer Luciana Souza, gospel singer John Thomas, his wife Sachi Patitucci on cello, his brother Tom on guitar and Tim Ries on flutes.
Teenage singer-pianist Peter Cincotti is out today with his debut CD, "Peter Cincotti," on Concord Jazz. There has been much fuss made about career potential since his February 2002 debut at the Algonquin Hotel's famed Oak Room in New York at age 18. Phil Ramone produced the CD, which teams Columbia University sophomore Cincotti with bassist David Finck, drummer Kenny Washington and tenor saxophonist Scott Kreitzer.