On this day in 1938, jazz cornet player and bandleader Joe "King" Oliver died in poverty in Savannah, Ga. Oliver's Creole Jazz Band recorded its greatest tunes 15 years earlier in a band that included a young Louis Armstrong.
Oliver's career quickly declined in the mid-1930s as he watched his proteges overtake him. At the time of his death, Oliver was working as a poolroom janitor.
Singer Carmen McRae was born this day in 1918 in New York. McRae was one of the great lyric interpreters during her long career. She died in 1994, several months after the National Endowment for the Arts named her an American Jazz Master.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... The Drummonds with special guests Gary Bartz and Steve Wilson are at The Jazz Standard this week. The Kenny Garrett quartet is at Iridium through Sunday. The Ray Barretto sextet and Benny Golson quartet share this week's billing at the Blue Note.
The Buster Williams quartet is at the Village Vanguard. Quizamba Brazilian jazz is at the Zinc Bar tonight and Wednesday. Historian Arnold Jay Smith's Jazz Insights discussion series on vocalists features Diane Hubka tonight at the New School University.
Santi Debriano and Ringshout are at Trumpets in Montclair, N.J., tonight.
The Julia and Zerounian Ensemble is at Scullers in Boston tonight. The Mili Bermejo trio with Bruce Barth and Dan Greenspan is at The Regattabar in Cambridge, Mass., tonight. The Ted Knowlton Group is at The Center for the Arts in Natick, Mass., tonight.
In Chicago... Men of Note are at Andy's. The Deep Blue Organ Trio is at the Green Mill. Ken Cheney is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium. Von Freeman and Friends are at the New Apartment Lounge on Tuesdays. The Ron Perrillo trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston. The Alison Ruble trio is at Pops for Champagne.
On the New Orleans jazz scene... the Ted Hefko quartet is at the Blue Nile. Earl Brown is at Café Sbisa. Jack McLaughlin and the OZ Band and New Orleans Delight are at Fritzel's. The Funkin' Horns and Juan Ferdinand are at the Funky Butt. The ReBirth Brass Band is at the Maple Leaf. Greg Stafford leads the band tonight at Preservation Hall. Rob Wagner's trio is at the Seaport Cafe. The Maurice Brown band featuring Quamon Fowler is at Snug Harbor.
In San Antonio tonight... the Jim Cullum Jazz Band is at The Landing through Saturday. Side 3 with saxophonist David Lucke, pianist-trumpeter Cecil Carter and bassist Joel Dilley is at Swig tonight and Wednesday.
In California... trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos is at the Onyx Room in San Diego tonight. Pianist Randy Weston's African Rhythms trio is at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight through Sunday. The Lesentu Trio with Milcho Leviev on piano, Pat Senatore on bass and Kevin Tullius on drums is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen. The Matt Otto quartet featuring Willie Jones is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton.
This is John Pisano's Guitar Night with Ron Eschete at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. Flugelhorn player Dmitri Matheny opens his "home season" visit to Yoshi's in Oakland tonight and Wednesday with pianist Darrell Grant and his larger Dmitri Matheny Group. Michael Zisman, Akira Tana and Matt Clark are at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco tonight.
Christian McBride's band is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle tonight and Wednesday.
On the recording front...
Five years before Canada's Justin Time Records released Diana Krall's debut recording in 1993, pianist-trombonist Vince Benedetti heard her performing in a hotel bar in Switzerland and invited her to participate in a brief European tour. After 10 concerts in December 1989 and January 1990, they went into Germany's Tonstudio Bauer and recorded seven original Benedetti tunes with his quintet. That previously unknown recording is being released today on Switzerland's TCZB label. It's called "Heartdrops" (Vince Benedetti Meets Diana Krall).
Dreyfus Jazz is out today with pianist Ahmad Jamal's newest recording, "In Search of ... Momentum." Two longtime collaborators -- bassist James Cammack and drummer Idris Muhammed -- join him on this trio session. Jamal calls the trio the context that is the most demanding for his playing. As he explains... "I'm a wordless storyteller, someone who cares about the dynamics of music." Late singer O.C. Smith joined the band for a vocal version of the Jamal original, "Whisperings."
Stony Plain Records released Duke Robillard and Herb Ellis's "More Conversations In Swing Guitar" today. It is the second musical conversation between these two blues and jazz groove masters. Their first collection, "Conversations In Swing Guitar," was released in 1999. "Moten Swing," "Train To Texas," "Robin's Nest," "Just You And Me," "Blues For Terry" and "End of Session Jump" are included.
Saxophonist Andy Parsons and drummer Gene Ludwin are joined by bassist John Patitucci and guitarist Ben Monder on their new recording "Flip!" It's out today on the Sons of Sound label. This is a groove jazz group that will draw comparisons to Medeski, Martin and Wood and the Yellowjackets for many listeners.