Today is May 28th.
Trumpeter Tommy Ladnier was born this day in 1900 in Florenceville, La. He was a fixture on the early Chicago jazz scene before joining Fletcher Henderson's band and touring Europe with Sam Wooding. Despite a drinking problem and the tough Depression times, Ladnier stayed with his music.
In the early 1930s, he opened a tailor shop in New York with saxophonist Sidney Bechet. They soon formed a band called the New Orleans Footwarmers and recorded some classic sessions for the Victor label in 1932. Ladnier died in 1939.
Saxophonist Andy Kirk was born this day in 1898 in Newport, Ky. He was a mailman and part-time musician for more than a decade before taking over leadership of the Clouds of Joy swing band in 1929. Kirk kept the Clouds together until 1948.
Bebop pianist Russ Freeman was born this day in 1926 in Chicago. This West Coast-based player had very important musical associations with Chet Baker, Shorty Rogers, Art Pepper and Shelly Manne.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... the Jason Moran-Sam Rivers quartet is at Iridium this week. The Tom Harrell quintet is at the Village Vanguard. Steps Ahead and Bill Evans and the Soul Insiders are at the Blue Note this week. Ray Bryant is at the Jazz Standard through Sunday. At the Knitting Factory, the lineup includes Heather B, Jean Grae, C-Rayz Walz, DP One, Recess.wav and No Sale Value.
Guitarist Dave Stryker is at Trumpets in Montclair, New Jersey tonight.
Saxophonist Charlie Mariano is at Scullers in Boston tonight. Guitarist Bruce Bartlett's trio is at Ryles in Cambridge.
Down to the Bone is at Zanzibar Blue in Philadelphia tonight and Wednesday.
On the Chicago area jazz scene... Peter Eldridge of New York Voices tonight through Thursday. The Vandermark Five are at the Empty Bottle tonight. Jimmy Sutton's Four Charms are at The Green Mill. The Terrell Stafford Quintet is at the Jazz Showcase through Sunday.
Ken Cheney is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz tonight. Von Freeman and Friends are at the New Apartment Lounge tonight. The Bobby Broom trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston. Elizabeth Doyle is at Philander's in Oak Park tonight.
In New Orleans... Joe Krown is at Le Bon Temps Roule. Tom Hook is at Dos Jefes. The Jazz Vipers are at El Matador. Ingrid Lucia is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Evan Howards' Jazz Party and James Alsanders Jazz Project are at the Funky Butt tonight. Paul Longstreth is at Le Meridien. Arnett Hayes and Dean Fransen are at Le Salon at Windsor Court tonight.
The ReBirth Brass Band is at the Maple Leaf. Pete Fountain is at his club in the Hilton Hotel. Gregg Stafford leads the band at Preservation Hall. The John Mahoney Big Band is at Snug Harbor tonight. Marva Wright and the BMWs and Humphrey Davis are at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor tonight. Riccardo Crespo is at The Red Bike.
Brian Auger's Oblivion Express is at the Blue Note in Las Vegas through Friday.
On the California jazz scene... the Ahmad Jamal trio is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles through Sunday. The Curtis Stigers quartet is scheduled at the Catalina in North Hollywood through Sunday. The Richard Cruz big band is at Steamers Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight.
The Vince Lateano trio is at Jazz At Pearl's and Sam Harris is at The Plush Room in San Francisco tonight. Dee Dee Bridgewater opens a weeklong run tonight at Yoshi's in Oakland.
EST, Swedish pianist Esbjorn Svennson's trio, is in Valencia, Spain tonight.
The Pat Metheny Group is in concert tonight in Poznan, Poland.
The Ray Vega quintet is in Malaga, Spain tonight.
Ron Carter's Stardust Band with Benny Golson, Joe Locke, Stephen Scott, Steve Kroon and Payton Crossley is at the Blue Note in Fukuoka, Japan tonight and Wednesday.
On the recording front...
Canada's Justin Time label has released several new CDs. They include "Steppenwolf," a rare live recording be the World Saxophone Quartet at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater in 1999, "Now and Again" by the Maritime Jazz Orchestra with Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor and Norma Winstone and "Pennies From Heaven" by the Susie Arioli Swing Band.
Saxophonist Bobby Watson has made his debut on the Palmetto label with his newest recording called "Live and Learn." It includes a new version of Sammy Davis Jr.'s "I've Gotta Be Me," a contemporary gospel tune "We Fall Down, But We Get Up" and Watson's tribute to the World Trade Center tragedy called "Landmarks Lost" His bandmates are pianist Orrin Evans, guitarist Greg Skaff, bassist Curtis Lundy and drummer Montez Coleman.
The Playboy Jazz label is out with singer Patti Austin's latest, a tribute recording called "For Ella." It was recorded last June in Koln, Germany with the WDR Big Band and Orchestra and the Gregg Field rhythm section.
OmniTone is out with several new releases. They include a trio recording by reed player Adam Kolker, pianist Russ Lossing and bassist John Hebert whose improvisations were inspired by the progressive piano pieces of Bela Bartok. This band and album are called "Change of Time." There's also a new CD by French horn ace Tom Varner with saxophonist Tony Malaby, bassist Cameron Brown, drummer Matt Wilson, guitarist Pete McCann and cornetist Dave Ballou. That session is called "Second Communion."
The MCG label, distributed by Telarc, today released "Things To Come," a live concert tribute recording by the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Band. The session by Jon Faddis, Slide Hampton, Frank Wess, James Moody, Jimmy Heath, Jay Ashby, Greg Gisbert, Renee Rosnes, Antonio Hart and Claudio Roditi was recorded last September during four nights at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in Pittsburgh.