Today is Dec. 17.
Trumpeter and arranger Sy Oliver was born this date in 1910 in Battle Creek, Mich. His achieved a lot of fame during his 1934-39 tenure with the Jimmy Lunceford band and went on to become a favorite arranger of Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.
Jazz and blues pianist Al Williams was born this day in 1919 in Memphis. He wrote arrangements for many of the Chicago jazz bands in the 1940s, toured Europe with Buck Clayton and Johnny Hodges, and played on Clayton's "Copenhagen Concert" album in 1959.
Bass player John Ore was born this day in 1933 in Philadelphia. In the 1950s and '60s, he worked with Lester Young, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell, Teddy Wilson and Thelonious Monk. He's a fixture in the Sun Ra Jazz Arkestra, now under the direction of Marshall Allen.
Saxophonist Grover Washington Jr., died this night in 1999 after suffering a heart attack shortly after taping a network television show (The CBS Early Morning Show) in New York. He was 56.
This was the day, in 1951, when saxophonist Sonny Rollins went into the recording studio for the first time as a leader for the Prestige label.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene, trumpeter Tom Harrell's quintet is in the Monday night spotlight at the Blue Note. Guitarist Les Paul's trio is at Iridium tonight. The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra is at the Village Vanguard. The Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra precedes the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra featuring Lew Tabackin at Birdland tonight. The Knitting Factory's eclectic lineup features the Josh Roseman Unit with special guest DJ Logic, plus Ursel Schlicht, Steve Swell, Ken Filiano, Lou Grassi, who celebrate their new quartet recording "Sound Quest" as part of the Bunker Annex series. Pianist Ethan Iverson performs solo tonight at the Greenwich House Music School. Trumpeter Ray Vega's Latin jazz sextet is at Rhone tonight.
In Chicago tonight, Guillermo Gregorio and the Madi Ensemble perform a New Millennium/New Music concert at the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts' Storefront Theater. Carlos Cannon is at the Backroom. The Patricia Barber trio is at the Green Mill. Yoko Noge's Jazz Me Blues band is at HotHouse. Katherine Davis is in the spotlight at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. Judy Roberts and Greg Fishman team up at Pops for Champagne.
On the New Orleans jazz scene, Bob French leads the band at Donna's. Jason Marsalis is at the Funky Butt. Trumpeter Reginald Koeller leads the band at Preservation Hall. Charmaine Neville will blend R&B and jazz at Snug Harbor tonight. The Jazz Vipers with Jack Fine are at the Spotted Cat. Brian Seeger's Jazz Hang band is at the Stationhouse Grill. The Hot 8 Brass Band is at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor.
In California tonight, pianist-composer-lyricist Howlett Smith is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight with his trio and a 16-voice choir presenting his holiday-inspired musical "The Carpenter." Arlene and the Guys Big Band are at Steamer's Jazz Café in Fullerton. The Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood presents the Northridge Holiday Jazz Quintet as part of its Young Artist Jazz Series. Guitarist Charlie Hunter's quartet is at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz. Spectrum is at Yoshi's in Oakland. The Renegade Sidemen are at Anna's Place in Berkeley. In San Francisco, Ledisi is at The Plush Room and The Contemporary Jazz Orchestra is at Jazz at Pearl's in North Beach.