Today is Dec. 1.
Pianist John Bunch was born on this date in 1921 in Tipton, Ind. A marvelous player whose fingers dance over the keyboard, Bunch worked with Benny Goodman. He was Tony Bennett's conductor and accompanist for six years.
Clarinetist and saxophonist Dick Johnson was born this day in 1925 in Brockton, Mass. The leader of the revived Artie Shaw orchestra has been a fixture on the Boston jazz scene since the early 1950s.
Electric bass marvel Jaco Pastorius was born this day in 1951 in Norristown, Pa. He died in 1987 from injuries suffered in a beating outside a Florida nightclub. Many consider him to have been the most innovative electric bass player who ever touched the instrument.
On this day in 1945, Lionel Hampton cut one of his most famous recordings for Decca Records. The song was the infectious "Hey-Ba-Ba-Re-Bop."
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene, Jazz at Lincoln Center holds another "Jammin' on the Hammond" organ summit tonight at Alice Tully Hall with Joey DeFrancesco, Rhoda Scott, Jimmy McGriff and Lonnie Smith. Pianist McCoy Tyner's trio and special guest Dave Valentin are at Iridium for two more nights. Saxophonist Greg Osby's quintet is at the Village Vanguard. Singer Lizz Wright's quartet performs at The Jazz Gallery tonight as part of its "Heartsong Weekend" series. Pianist Jean-Michel Pilc's trio is at the Cornelia Street Café. Birdland's 2nd annual Django Reinhardt Festival continues with gypsy guitarist/violinist Dorado Schmitt, Rumanian guitarist Angelo Debarre and Frank Vignola. Guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli joins the fun on Sunday. Trumpeters Steven Bernstein and Max Nagl bring their new quartet into the Knitting Factory tonight.
Guitarist Stanley Jordan is at the VanDyck in Schenectady, N.Y., tonight.
In Chicago tonight, the Stefon Harris-Jacky Terrasson quartet is at the Jazz Showcase. Kalaprush and the Light are at HotHouse tonight.
On the New Orleans jazz scene, singer Kim Prevost is at Cobalt tonight. Trumpeter Jeremy Davenport is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Pianist Marcus Roberts' trio is at the New Orleans Center for Contemporary Art's Riverfront center tonight. Clarinetist Pete Fountain is at his longstanding jazz club in the New Orleans Hilton. Wendell Brunious leads the band at Preservation Hall tonight. Alto saxophonist Wessell Anderson is at Snug Harbor tonight. Topsy Chapman and Roderick Paulin are featured tonight at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor. Doreen Ketchens performs this afternoon with Matt Hampsey and Bruce Barnes at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.
In California, Hammond B-3 organ master Jimmy Smith's quartet is at the Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood for two more nights. The Banda Brothers are at Steamer's Jazz Café in Fullerton. Jazz-funk keyboardist Robert Walter's 20th Congress band is at the Temple Bar in Santa Monica tonight. Vibes player Gary Burton's all-stars are at Yoshi's in Oakland. The Snake Trio is at the LMNO Restaurant in Oakland. The Will Bernard Project is at Jupiter in Berkeley. Katchie Cartwright is at Spiedo Ristorante in San Jose tonight with Larry Vuckovich, Nat Johnson and Danny Spencer. In San Francisco tonight, Wesla Whitfield and Mike Greensill are at The Plush Room and Mark Levine and the Latin Tinge are at Jazz at Pearl's.
Saxophonist David Sanchez and his Melaza sextet are at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle tonight and Sunday.