Today is July 30.
Alto saxophonist Hilton Jefferson was born this day in 1903 in Danbury, Conn. He began his career in the Claude Hopkins band before working with Chick Webb, McKinney's Cotton Pickers, Fletcher Henderson and Cab Calloway. Jefferson spent nine years in the Calloway orchestra, leading the saxophone section and recording a classic solo feature on "Willow Weep for Me." He died in 1968.
Drummer Vernel Fournier was born this day in 1928 in New Orleans.
David Sanborn, a unique contemporary voice on the alto saxophone, was born this day in 1945 in Tampa, Fla. He took up his instrument as a child as therapy in his recovery from polio, for which he spent time in an iron lung.
Singer Kevin Mahogany was born this day in 1958 in Kansas City. He sings gospels, ballads and blues, and over the past six years has helped fill the otherwise thin ranks of younger male jazz vocalists.
Bass player Jimmy Blanton died this day in 1942 in Los Angeles. He was 24. Blanton revolutionized bass playing in jazz during a brief two-year stint with the Duke Ellington band before he was struck down with congenital tuberculosis.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... the Bucky Pizzarelli trio with Bill Charlap and Jay Leonhart is at the Jazz Standard tonight and Wednesday. The Ravi Coltrane quartet is at Iridium this week. Pianist Bruce Barth is at the Village Vanguard through Sunday with his trio featuring drummer Al Foster and bassist Ugonna Okegwo. Singer Philip Bailey's band is at the Blue Note all week. The Jason Lindner quintet is at the Zinc Bar tonight and Wednesday. The Knitting Factory schedule tonight includes Tuatara, The Minus 5, Wayward Shamans, CeDell Davis and Matt Lavelle.
Chicago-based Liquid Soul is at Scullers in Boston tonight.
Trombonist Crook's band Um is at the AS220 performance space in Providence, R.I., tonight.
The United States Air Force Band of Flight is at Cain Park's Evans Amphitheater in Cleveland, Ohio, tonight.
In Chicago... the Roy Haynes quartet is at the Jazz Showcase this week. Jimmy Sutton's Four Charms are at the Green Mill tonight. Ken Cheney is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. Von Freeman and Friends are at the New Apartment Lounge on Tuesday nights.
Singer Karrin Allyson is at the Dakota in St. Paul, Minn., through Wednesday.
In New Orleans tonight... Tom Hook is at Dos Jefes. Ingrid Lucia is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Drummer James Alsanders' Jazz Project is at the Funky Butt. Topsy Chapman is at Satchmo's jazz room in Harrah's casino. Courtney Bryan and Jesse McBride are at Le Salon at Windsor Court. The ReBirth Brass Band is at the Maple Leaf. The Chuck Chaplin trio is at Snug Harbor tonight. The Ian McPhail quintet and Son del Pantano are at the Spotted Cat tonight.
On the California jazz scene... guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Leni Stern and her band do a live video taping tonight at Dizzy's in San Diego. The Cedar Walton quartet is at the Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood through Sunday. The Gina Saputo quintet is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton tonight. The Bobby Hutcherson All-Star Quintet is at Yoshi's in Oakland this week. The Stanford Jazz Festival in Palo Alto features the Dave Ellis Group tonight. In San Francisco, Mark Levine and Ken Miller are at Paradise Pizza tonight and Alan Steger is at the Bix Restaurant and Supper Club.
The John Pizzarelli trio is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle through Sunday.
Omar Sosa's octet is at Angers l'Ete, in Angers, France, tonight.
On the recording front...
Saxophonist Greg Osby's latest release, "Inner Circle," is out today on Blue Note. It is his 12th recording for the label. His band features Jason Moran on piano, Stefon Harris on vibes, Tarus Mateen on bass and Eric Harland on drums. They tackle seven Osby originals and two cover tracks, pop singer Bjork's "All Neon Like" and Charles Mingus's "Self Portrait in Three Colors."
Five new two-fer compact discs, from the Fantasy and Prestige catalogs, will be released today. They include "Cal Tjader Plays Harold Arlen and West Side Story," which combines two Fantasy albums by the vibist, both recorded in 1960 and featuring frequent collaborators like Red Mitchell and Willie Bobo, as well as arranger Clare Fischer.
Also in stores today is "Rio Strut," a new Milestone album by the Brazil All-Stars. Producer Arnaldo DeSouteiro says the CD should serve as a way of exposing new talents, such as Jorge Pescara, Paula Faour, Carlo Pingarilho and the sensational duo Palmyra and Levita from Bahia.
Other performances on "Rio Strut" come from Deodato, who wrote the title track, Joao Donato, Thiago de Mello, Claudio Roditi, and singer Ithamara Koorax, who delivers an explosive live version of Jorge Ben's "Mas Que Nada" with drummer Dom Um Romao.
"Art Standards," a single-CD overview of the 1979-82 sessions contained in last year's five-disc Fantasy boxed set, "Art Pepper: The Hollywood All-Star Sessions," with Russ Freeman, John Heard, Milcho Leviev, Jack Sheldon, Sonny Stitt, and others, is in stores today. So is "Left Bank Encores" by Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt, a second volume of 1973 recordings made for Baltimore's Left Bank Jazz Society, on which the saxophonists are backed by Cedar Walton, Sam Jones and Billy Higgins. Singer Etta Jones guests on two tracks.