Today is May 4.
Big band drummer Sonny Payne was born this day in New York in 1926. On and off he worked with the Count Basie band between 1954 and 1974, adding a strong degree of showmanship to its presentation.
Trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, still master of the "Double C" screams high notes, was born this day in 1928 in Montreal. He continues to tour with his jazz band, Big Bop Nouveau.
Pianist Don Friedman was born in San Francisco this day in 1935.
Bass player and composer Ron Carter was born this day in 1937 in Ferndale, Mich. He gained prominence in Miles Davis's band in 1963 and has been a prolific recording and touring artist ever since that five-year stint.
This was the day, in 1940, when Duke Ellington first recorded two of his standards, "Cottontail" and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," for the Victor label.
On this day in 1959, saxophonist John Coltrane took his band into the studio to record what many consider his finest recording. The classic "Giant Steps" session marked the emergence of the beautiful standard "Naima" as well as the title track and other works showcasing his harmonic virtuosity.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene, the Lou Donaldson quartet is at the Village Vanguard through Sunday. The Danilo Perez trio is at the Jazz Standard all week. The Michel Camilo and Kenny Werner trios are at the Blue Note through Sunday. Kenny Garrett is at Iridium this week.
Keyboard wiz John Beasley is The Jazz Gallery tonight with his trio featuring John Patitucci and Billy Hart. Trombonist Chris Washburne's Latin jazz band SYOTOS is at Makor tonight. The Valery Ponomarev all-star band is at Birdland tonight.
The Hartford (Conn.) Jazz Society presents saxophonist Jimmy Greene's quartet tonight at Asylum Hill Congregational Church.
The Dan Moretti jazz ensemble is at CAV in Providence, R.I., tonight.
Jackie McLean joins the Cedar Walton trio at The Regattabar in Cambridge, Mass., tonight and Sunday. The Aardvark Orchestra is a MIT"s Killian Hall tonight. The Nicholas Payton band is at Tuckerman Hall in Worcester.
The Bud Shank quintet is at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago for two more nights. Elsewhere in the Windy City, the Lonnie Plaxico is at the Green Mill tonight. Rankinfyle is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Ken Chaney Experience is at Pops for Champagne.
JazzFest continues in New Orleans today with Better Than Ezra, Jimmy Buffett, Bobby Womack, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Lloyd Price, Snooks Eaglin, the Joe Lovano nonet, Huey Smith, Terence Blanchard, Zigaboo Modaliste, Trombone Shorty, Alvin Batiste and many others. Phil Lesh and Friends and Gov't Mule headline the evening concert series at Morris F.X. Jeff Auditorium in Louis Armstrong Park while Astral Project and the Yellow Jackets are at the Praline Connection Gospel and Blues Hall.
Elsewhere in the Crescent City, the ReBirth Brass Band is at the Blue Nile tonight. Harry Connick Sr. is at Cobalt. "Jazz and More on the Northshore" presents Brian Preen's Crescent City Big Band plus lectures by jazz historian Dr. Karl Koening tonight at the Dew Drop Inn. The Wild Magnolias and the Wendell Brunius band are at Donna's tonight.
Jerry Jumonville and Jump City are at Dos Jefes. Trumpeter Jeremy Davenport is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Charlie Hunter, the Motet and Will Bernard are at the Funky Butt. Los Hombres Calientes, Soulive, Robert Walter's 20th Congress and The Radiators are at the House of Blues tonight. Henry Butler is at Le Bon Temps Roule. The Jazz and Blues Chanteuse Series continues tonight at Le Chat Noir with singers Patrice Fisher and Arpa featuring Neti, Betsy Braud, Fran Commisky and Graciela Barretto. John Brunious leads the band tonight at Preservation Hall. The Batiste Brothers with Leo Nocentelli, Donald Harrison Jr. and Congo Nation are at the Red Room. Ingrid Lucia and the Flying Neutrinos are at the Shim Sham Club. Terence Blanchard is at Snug Harbor.
Saxophonist Karl Denson's Tiny Universe is at the State Palace Theater. Kiki Bonilla, Marva Wright and the BMWs and Roderick Paulin headline the Storyville District Jazz Parlor tonight. French harmonica wiz Fred Yonnet is at Sweet Lorraine tonight. The Dudes plus John Mooney and Bluesiana and ReBirth Brass Band are at the TwiRoPa Arts Center, The Improvisational Arts Council is at Zeitgeist tonight. Tommy Yetta is at the French Market Complex this afternoon. Pianist John Royen plays and talks about ragtime and jazz this afternoon at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.
On the California jazz scene, Kenny Barron, Stefon Harris, Javon Jackson, Rufus Reid and Lewis Nash are featured in a tribute to the late Joe Henderson at Yoshi's in Oakland. Benny Green is at the Catalina in North Hollywood through Sunday. Claudio Roditi subs for Paquito D'Rivera tonight at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa.
Jason Moran's trio is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles through Sunday. The Fred Ramirez Latin jazz band presents a "tribute to Cal Tjader" tonight at Steamer's Jazz Café in Fullerton. Susie Hansen's Latin jazz band is at the Wilmington Cinco de Mayo Street Fair this afternoon.
In San Francisco, Bill Henderson, Eric Comstock and Dena deRose bring their Hollywood Songbook show to The Plush Room tonight. The Omar Sosa Septet is at the Herbst Theatre as part of the SFJazz Spring series.
The Big Sur Jazz Festival lineup today features Hydeus Kiatta, Eric Person and Meta-Four, Russell Malone, the Michael Zilber-Steve Smith Group, Wild Mango and the Scott Amendola band.
Keiko Matsui is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle through Sunday.