Today is Dec. 23.
Trumpet great Chet Baker, the horn player whose sound mirrored his soft, haunting vocals, was born this day in 1929 in Yale, Okla. Dogged by heroin addiction for most of his career, he died in Amsterdam in 1988 after falling or being pushed out a hotel window.
Alto saxophonist Frank Morgan was born this day in 1933 in Minneapolis.
On this night in 1938, producer John Hammond produced the first of three "From Spirituals to Swing" concerts at Carnegie Hall. These historic events were a way to showcase African-American music from its beginnings to the jazz scene of the late 1930s. It was the first major concert at Carnegie Hall to star black performers in front of an integrated audience.
On this day in 1939, Frank Sinatra left the Harry James band for the Tommy Dorsey orchestra. He was making $75 a week.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... the Blue Note's New Sounds of Soul Jazz series features the Abby Dobson Group tonight. The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra is at the Village Vanguard. The Les Paul trio is at Iridium on Mondays, often with special guests. The Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra is at Birdland. Ron Affif's trio is at the Zinc Bar. Matt Darriau and Yuri Lemeshev are at the Knitting Factory tonight as part of the venue's Jewzapalooza Festival.
The Tony Micelli quartet is at Chris's Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia tonight.
On the Chicago jazz scene... the William Garcia quartet is at Cafe Bolera. Terry Callier and Beyond are at the Green Mill tonight. Yoko Noge's Jazz Me Blues are at HotHouse. Kelly Brand is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium. Sami Scott is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Franz Jackson quartet is at Pops of Highwood.
On the New Orleans jazz scene... the Panorama Jazz Band is at the Blue Nile. Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. The Soul Rebels Brass Band is at the Canal Bus Stop Bar tonight. Two Pan Sam is at Checkpoint Charlie. Bob French and Friends are at Donna's. Wendell Brunious is at Dos Jefes. The Fresh Off the Boat Refugee Jazz Band and Jason Marsalis are at the Funky Butt. Joe Krown is at Le Bon Temps Roule. Papa Grows Funk is at the Maple Leaf tonight. Reginald Koeller leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. The Dixie Trio is at the Seaport Cafe. Singer Charmaine Neville is at Snug Harbor.
On the California jazz scene... the Banda Brothers bring "Latin Christmas Jazz" to Spazio in Sherman Oaks tonight. Terry Federoff's Jazz Lite Octette is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton. Sam Most and Frank Capp are with Pat Tuzzolino at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight. The Charlie Hunter Group is at Yoshi's in Oakland.
On the recording front...
The Japan-based label, Eighty-Eights, distributed by Columbia Records, plans to release its first batch of jazz titles next April. They include new recordings by Roy Haynes, Eddie Henderson, Ravi Coltrane and a collaboration by Max Roach and Clark Terry.
Producer John Snyder is re-launching the Artists House label, which was one of the most exciting jazz imprints during the mid-1970s with releases by Ornette Coleman, Gil Evans and others. The label revival features artists that stretch the stylistic boundaries of rock-folk-jazz-soul genres. They range from the blues-gospel of Scrapomatic and the Southern jam-funk of Oteil Burbridge and The Peacemakers to the urban folk/pop of singer-trumpeter Kami Lyle and the avant-fusion of multi-instrumentalist Jason Crosby. The initial releases are due in February.