Today is Jan. 8.
Trumpeter Wendell Culley was born this day in 1906 in Worcester, Mass. He worked with Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton and Count Basie, principally as a section player. Culley was featured on solos in Hampton's first recordings of "Airmail Special" and "Midnight Sun" and Basie's "Li'l Darlin'."
Pianist Bobby Tucker was born this day in 1922 in Morristown, N.J. He was an accompanist and arranger for singers Mildred Bailey, Billie Holiday and Billy Eckstine.
On this night in 2001, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' 10-part "Jazz" series begins airing on PBS stations across the United States. The 19-hour series was six years and $13 million in the making -- and even more ambitious than his acclaimed series on the Civil War in 1990 and baseball in 1994.
Drummer Dave Weckl was born this day in 1960.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene, bassist Buster Williams' quartet with saxophonist Javon Jackson, pianist Eric Reed and drummer Lenny White opens a weeklong run tonight at the Village Vanguard. Bassist Christian McBride's quartet featuring Geoff Keezer, Ron Blake and Terreon Gulley is at Iridium through Sunday. David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Centennial Band and the Duke Ellington Orchestra led by Jack Jeffers are on tap at Birdland. The Wildman/Moran/Glassmeyer trio is at The Knitting Factory tonight.
Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks are at Scullers jazz club in Boston tonight.
In New Orleans, the Jazz Vipers are at El Matador tonight. Drummer James Alsanders' Jazz Project is at the Funky Butt. The ReBirth Brass Band is at the Maple Leaf. Trumpeter Gregg Stafford leads the band at Preservation Hall. The Richie Moten trio is at the Royal Sonesta Hotel's Mystick Den. Drummer Jason Marsalis brings his band into Snug Harbor. Pianist Eddie Bo is at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor. Pianist John Royen is at Sweet Kathleen's.
On the California jazz scene, The Either/Orchestra is at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight. Singer-pianist Patricia Barber is at Yoshi's in Oakland tonight through Thursday. The Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood presents the Nick Vagenas quintet tonight as part of its Young Artists Jazz Series. Singer Susan Sinner is at Steamers Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight. Drummer Ron Marabuto's trio featuring pianist Matt Clark is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood.
Bassist John Patitucci brings his band into Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle tonight through Sunday.
On the recording front...
-- Blue Note is out today with pianist Renee Rosnes's eighth CD for the label. "Life on Earth" is her most worldly and exotic session, continuing a consistent string of excellent recordings by the Canadian-born player. Her collaborators include Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain, djembe player Mor Thiam from Senegal, drummers Duduka Da Fonseca, Jeff Watts and Billy Drummond, trombonist Steve Turre and saxophonists Chris Potter and Walt Weiskopf.
-- Singer-pianist Mose Allison's new Blue Note release out today is called "The Mose Chronicles - Live in London, Volume 2." It was recorded with his quartet over a three-day period at London's Pizza Express in January 2000.
-- The Dreyfus Jazz label is out with three new recordings today. They are guitarist Bireli Lagrene's "The Gypsy Project," the Moutin Brothers Reunion band's "Power Tree" and Bill Carrothers' duets with drummer Bill Stewart.
-- Palmetto is out today with drummer Bobby Previte's latest eclectic but swinging release, "Just Add Water." It features his trio with pianist Wayne Horvitz and bassist Steve Swallow plus special guests Marty Ehrlich on saxophone and trombonists Ray Anderson and Joseph Bowie.