Today is March 24.
Boogie-woogie piano master Pete Johnson was born this day in 1904 in Kansas City, Mo. He worked regularly in boogie-woogie trios and duos with Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis.
Singer Clarence Beeks was born this day in 1922 in Oakdale, Tenn. The music world knew him better as "King Pleasure." Success came in 1949 following one of the fabled amateur contests at New York's Apollo Theatre, where he sang Eddie Jefferson's lyrics to James Moody's composition "I'm in the Mood for Love." King Pleasure's version of the song became a substantial hit on the Prestige Label in 1952. He popularized vocalese, the technique of writing new lyrics based on the original jazz solos of a song.
Pianist Steve Kuhn was born this day in 1938 in Brooklyn, N.Y. In addition to leading his own band and playing solo, he has worked through the years with Stan Getz, Kenny Dorham, Art Farmer, Gary Burton and John Coltrane.
Pianist Renee Rosnes was born this day in 1962 in Regina, Saskatchewan, in western Canada. She has recorded extensively for the Blue Note label.
Trumpeter Dave Douglas was born this day in 1963 in Montclair, N.J.
On this day in 2001, Symphony Space in New York presented its 31st annual "Wall to Wall" music marathon. The 12-hour free event had fans stretched around the block hoping to hear even a bit of a celebration of the 75th birth year of Miles Davis. Literally hundreds of musicians and singers performed a wide range of Davis works in their own contexts.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... guitarist Les Paul's trio is at Iridium. The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra is at the Village Vanguard. The Michel Camilo trio is at the Blue Note. Toshiko Akiyoshi's Jazz Orchestra is at Birdland most Mondays. The Ron Affif trio is at the Zinc Bar tonight.
In Philadelphia... Harold E. Smith and Joe McPhee are at the Bodek Lounge of the University of Pennsylvania's Houston Hall for a free concert tonight.
Brian Bromberg brings his "Jaco" tour to Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., tonight.
In the Chicago area... Carmen Stokes is at the Backroom. The William Garcia quartet is at Cafe Bolera. The Patricia Barber quintet is at The Green Mill tonight. Yoko Noge's Jazz Me Blues are at HotHouse on Mondays.
There's an avant-garde jazz jam session with David Boykin, Karl E. H. Seigfried and Mike Reed tonight at the Hotti Biscotti Café. Kelly Brand is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium tonight. The Long Count Quartet is at Joy Blue. Sami Scott is at Philander's in Oak Park tonight.
On the New Orleans jazz scene... Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. Bob French and Friends are at Donna's. The Jacques Gauthe trio is at Fritzel's. The Evan Howard band is at the Funky Butt. This is Joe Krown's Piano Night at Le Bon Temps Roule. Reginald Koeller leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. Charmaine Neville is at Snug Harbor. The Jazz Vipers are at the Spotted Cat. The Rob Wagner trio is at d.b.a.
Pianist Kenny Barron and his Canta Brasil band are at the City Center Sheraton in Salt Lake City tonight.
In California... Peter Erskine, Dave Carpenter and Alan Pasqua are at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight. The Ray Armando Latin jazz sextet presents a tribute to Mongo Santamaria tonight at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. Sam Most and Friends are at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight. Terry Federoff's Jazz Lite octette is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton.
The Contemporary Jazz Orchestra directed by Alex Budman and featuring vocalist Duane Lawrence is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco. Mark Levine and The Latin Tinge are at Yoshi's jazz club in Oakland tonight. Toots Thielemans and Kenny Werner are at The Jazz & Blues Company in Carmel tonight.
On the recording front...
Trumpeter, composer and bandleader Terence Blanchard has signed with Blue Note Records and is completing his debut recording for the label. It is tentatively scheduled for a release in August or September of this year. The record is co-produced by Blanchard and Michael Cuscuna, and features his working band with pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Brandon Owens, drummer Eric Harland, guitarist Lionel Loueke and saxophonist Brice Winston.
Saxophonists Ravi Coltrane and Michael McGinnis, along with Coltrane's wife and business partner, Kathleen Hennessy, have formed their own label, RKM Music. It was founded on the principle of allowing each artist to have total control over the recording from start to finish. San Rafael, Calif., distributor City Hall Records has been signed as the national distributor for RKM's initial release of three CDs.
They include two CDs by trumpeter Ralph Alessi, "Vice and Virtue" and "This Against That," and "Tangents" by Michael McGinnis's group Between Green. Future releases include a new recording by Venezuelan pianist Luis Perdomo, who's been gaining powerful recognition for his work with Ray Barretto and Ravi Coltrane, and a project with poet Julie Patton with many members of the RKM collective producing tracks.