Today is May 6.
Trombonist Charlie Irvis, who played with Duke Ellington and Jelly Roll Morton, was born in New York, NY, on this day in 1899.
Bass player David Friesen was born this day in 1942 in Tacoma, Wash. His playing first drew critical attention in 1977 with trumpeter Ted Curson's group at the Monterey Jazz Festival.
On this day in 1957, Miles Davis and Gil Evans went into the studios for Columbia to make their historic recording "Miles Ahead." It was their first orchestral masterpiece, soon to be followed by "Porgy and Bess" and "Sketches of Spain." "Miles Ahead" was also the album on which Davis played flugelhorn, helping establish it as an important expressive instrument in jazz.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
The Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra is at Birdland tonight. The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra holds down its Monday night spot at the Village Vanguard. Guitar legend Les Paul is at Iridium tonight. Mike Melvoin is in the Monday night spotlight at the Blue Note.
The music is still hot and heavy in the wake of JazzFest in New Orleans tonight. There's an all-star jam tonight at the Blue Nile. Bob French leads the jamming at Donna's this Monday night. Stanton Moore, John Vidacovich, James Singleton and Skerik are at the Old Point tonight. Reginald Koeller leads the band at Preservation Hall. Charmaine Neville sings at Snug Harbor. Banu Gibson and the New Birth Brass Band are at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor. Joe Krown is at Frenchy"s Gallery this afternoon, and at Le Bon Temps Roule tonight.
Today's showcases at Louisiana Music Factory include John Mooney, Corey Harris, John Rankin, the Iguanas, the Blue Runners, Juice and Kermit Ruffins. Showcases today and tonight at Tower Records feature Astral Project, Blue Runners, New Orleans Nightcrawlers, Joe Krown's Organ Combo and Papa Grows Funk.
Bill Russo's Chicago Jazz Ensemble plays the music of Woody Herman at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago tonight. The New Millennium/New Music series presents the Chicago Underground Duo and Trio with Rob Mazurek, Chad Taylor and Jeff Parker at the Claudia Cassidy Theater at the Chicago Cultural Center.
Terry Callier and Beyond are at the Green Mill tonight. Yoko Noge's Jazz Me Blues is at HotHouse tonight. The Typhanie Monique duo is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston. Nadine Baxter is at Philander's in Oak Park. Judy Roberts and Greg Fishman team up tonight at Pops for Champagne.
The Bill Watrous Big Band is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight. Elsewhere on the California jazz scene, the John Peace Superband is at Steamer's Jazz Café en Fullerton tonight. Larry Carlton is at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz. The Contra Costa Big Band is at Yoshi's in Oakland. The Contemporary Jazz Orchestra is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco
On the recording front...
-- After nine Vital Information recordings, Steve Smith, Tom Coster, Frank Gambale, and Baron Browne are back with "Show 'Em Where You Live," the band¹s new studio recording. The 1998 release "Where We Come From" marked a new beginning for Vital Information. The band decided to reintroduce themselves to their musical roots. This process found them reinvestigating many different styles of music including New Orleans music, blues, bebop, R&B, soul jazz and free jazz. Each member of the band wound up rediscovering forgotten influences, and bringing them to the sessions.
-- Five new twofer CDs are out on Milestone. They include "Drum Songs" by Philly Joe Jones, a reissue of the drummer's 1978 Galaxy albums "Advance!" and "Drum Song," with Harold Land, Slide Hampton, Cedar Walton, Marc Johnson, and Blue Mitchell (who died several months after these sessions were made). Others include "Long Night," pairing alto saxophonist's Frank Strozier's long-unavailable Jazzland recordings "Long Night" and "March of the Siamese Children" (1961-62 quartet and sextet sessions) with George Coleman, Harold Mabern and Bill Lee, Sal Nistico's "Heavyweights," which includes the tenorman's 1961 Jazzland album of the same name (with Nat Adderley and Barry Harris) and his Riverside date "Comin' On Up!" (made the following year, with Harris and Bob Cranshaw). Also, "That Lovin' Feelin'" by the Junior Mance trio and Orchestra, combining his like titled 1972 Milestone date with "The Soul of Hollywood: The Piano and Orchestra of Junior Mance" (1962, Jazzland), which features Melba Liston arrangements, and Wild Bill Moore's "Bottom Groove," which contains two 1961 Jazzland quintet sessions by the tenor saxophonist in the company of Junior Mance or Johnny "Hammond" Smith plus Joe Benjamin, Ben Riley and Ray Barretto.
-- Fantasy is out with a "Best of Etta Jones" compilation of 18 of the late vocalist's singles for the Prestige label. Most of the songs were produced by Esmond Edwards, A&R director for Prestige Records from 1958 to 1962. Edwards also shot the haunting portrait of the young Jones on the new CD's cover, and contributed a heartfelt appreciation of the singer in which he recalled how she came to sign with Prestige.
-- In September, Fantasy plans to release a second volume of previously unissued material from J.J. Johnson and Nat Adderley's Pablo session "The Yokohama Concert," recorded 25 years ago. A young rhythm section -- comprised of Billy Childs, Tony Dumas, and J.J.'s son, Kevin Johnson on drums -- provides support.