Today is Sept. 17.
Drummer and bandleader William McKinney was born this day in 1895 in Cynthiana, Ky. His band, McKinney's Cotton Pickers, was popular in the late 1920s and 1930s.
Pianist Ralph Sharon, longtime accompanist and musical director for singer Tony Bennett, was born this day in 1923 in London.
Bass player Earl May was born this day in 1927 in New York City.
Bassist David Williams was born this day in 1946 in Trinidad in the West Indies.
On this day in 1937, Artie Shaw first recorded his band's theme song, "Nightmare," for the Brunswick label.
On this day in 1951, pianist and baseball moonlighter Jimmy Yancey died at age 57. Jazz lost the man credited with pioneering the boogie woogie piano style, and the Chicago White Sox lost the man who had been their groundskeeper at Comiskey Park since 1925.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene...the 2002 Verizon Music Festival opens tonight with a variety of club dates and one major concert. The Tyner Project at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall teams Tyner's quintet and the Ailey II dance company. Other concerts this festival week will feature singers Tony Bennett and k.d. lang. India is on a Latin bill with Huey Dunbar and Kevin Ceballo, and Isaac Hayes and Oleta Adams. Al Jarreau, Michel Camilo, Lea DeLaria, Kenny Garrett, the Jazz Mandolin Project and Virginia Mayhew band perform at a free concert this Saturday in Battery Park. David Sanborn, Joe Sample and Chris Botti are at the Beacon Theater on Sunday.
Ted Nash's quartet is at the Village Vanguard this week. Ray Barretto and New World Spirit are at Iridium through Sunday. Ethan Iverson is at the Jazz Standard tonight in the first of five solo piano evenings. Iverson is the musical director for the Mark Morris Dance Group, as well as a member of the Mark Turner Quartet and the Kurt Rosenwinkel Quartet.
In the Boston area... Joe Sample is at Scullers jazz club in Boston tonight and Wednesday. The John Payne Saxophone Choir is at the Regattabar in Cambridge tonight.
Chris Potter is at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., tonight and Wednesday.
In Chicago tonight... Men of Note are at Andy's. Jimmy Sutton's Four Charms are at the Green Mill. The Danilo Perez trio is at the Jazz Showcase through Sunday. Ken Cheney is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium tonight. Von Freeman and Friends are at the New Apartment Lounge. Pianist Marshall Vente is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Dan Cray trio is at Pops for Champagne.
In New Orleans... Michael Skinkus's Moyuba and the Ted Hefko quartet are at the Blue Nile. Maurice Brown's Hot Six are at the Funky Butt. Brian O'Neill is at Satchmo's jazz room in Harrah's casino. Fred Sanders and Paul Longstreth are at Le Salon at the Windsor Court. The ReBirth Brass Band is at the Maple Leaf. Rob Wagner's trio is at the Seaport Cafe. Harold Battiste and the Next Generation are at Snug Harbor. The Ian McPhail quintet is at the Spotted Cat.
On the California jazz scene... Kenny Rankin is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight. The Yellowjackets are at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood tonight. The Chris Williams quintet is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton. Drummer Vince Lateano's trio featuring pianist Leonard Thompson is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco tonight. The Dave Stryker-Steve Slagle band is at Yoshi's in Oakland tonight.
Holland's Willem Breuker Kollektief is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle tonight.
On the recording front...
Columbia Legacy Jazz is out today with a rather elegant four-disc career retrospective called simply "The Herbie Hancock Box." The pianist's included work spans 23 albums and 13 years, including his Headhunters and VSOP bands. It includes the hits "Rockit," "Maiden Voyage," "Dolphin Dance" and "Watermelon Man." Many of the versions are being released in the United States for the first time.
Columbia/Legacy has licensed for release today Warner Music Switzerland's limited-edition 20-CD box set "The Complete Miles Davis at Montreux 1973-1991." There are about a hundred versions of "Time After Time" and other staples of Davis's 1980s band, which makes up the bulk of the set, as well as a date from 1973 with his hard-edged electric band.
Verve today released Chris Potter's newest CD, "Traveling Mercies."
Pianist Frank Kimbrough and vibes player Joe Locke are out today with their new OmniTone release "The Willow." Guest artists are Tim Ries on five different reed instruments and Jeff Ballard on percussion. Many will hear it as a successor to the Chick Corea-Gary Burton piano and vibes album "Crystal Silence."
OmniTone also is out today with trombonist Christophe Schweizer's "Physique" by the Switzerland native's Normal Garden band. The unit includes saxophonists Donny McCaslin and Eric Rasmussen, trumpeter Alexander Sipiagin, pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Johannes Weidenmuller and drummer Billy Hart. Schweizer is now a New Yorker, working Mingus Big Band and Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra as well as Europe's George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band and NDR Big Band.
Pianist Mulgrew Miller has reunited with Wingspan, the group he founded more than 15 years ago. Their newest recording is "The Sequel," out today on the MaxJazz label. His bandmates are original quintet member Steve Nelson on vibes plus saxophonist Steve Wilson, bassist Richie Goods, drummer Karriem Riggins and trumpeter Duane Eubanks.
The Soul Note label today released Boston-based pianist Greg Burk's first trio recording, "Checking In," featuring bassist Jon Robinson and drummer Bob Moses. "Checking In" features 10 original tracks. Burk also can be heard on the Either/Orchestra's new release, "Afro-Cubism." Burk is a former student of Yusef Lateef, Danilo Perez and Paul Bley, and paid his early musical dues with musicians like drummer Gerald Cleaver and saxophonist James Carter in the 1990s Detroit/Ann Arbor, Mich., scene.
Pianist Jason Moran's newest recording, "Modernistic," is out today on Blue Note. It is a solo piano outing, and quite a fine follow-up to last year's trio CD, "Black Stars" with special guest Sam Rivers on saxophone.
ESC Records is out today with Joe Zawinul's "Faces and Places" and Les McCann's "Pump It Up" with Billy Preston and Bonnie Raitt.
Joel Dorn's latest label, Hyena, is out today with Rahsaan Roland Kirk's "The Man Who Cried Fire" and the Cannonball Adderley reissue "Radio Nights."
Jane Monheit's third CD, "In The Sun" is out today on the N-Coded Music label.
Keyboard player Bob Baldwin's new CD, "Standing Tall," is out today on Narada Jazz. He's joined by Roy Ayers, Chieli Minucci, Phil Perry, Will Downing, Marion Meadows and Kim Waters.