Jazz Notes: Goings on in the jazz world

By KEN FRANCKLING, United Press International

Today is March 26.

Bass player Jimmy Blanton was born this day in 1921 in St. Louis. During his brief stint in the Duke Ellington Orchestra from 1939 to 1941, Blanton revolutionized the role of the bass in jazz. He set the standard for modern bass technique with his rounded tone, solos and his melodic sense. Blanton was just 21 when he died of congenital tuberculosis.


Saxophonist James Moody was born this day in 1925 in Savannah, Ga. He had a popular hit recording in 1949 when he recorded an instrumental version of "I'm In The Mood For Love." Eddie Jefferson later wrote lyrics to match Moody's solo. King Pleasure's vocal version of that song, "Moody's Mood for Love" was a hit in 1952.

Drummer Donald Bailey was born this day in Philadelphia in 1934. Max Roach, Art Blakey and Philly Joe Jones heavily influenced this smooth drummer with a keen sense of time. Bailey made his move onto the national jazz scene during eight years with organ player Jimmy Smith. His drumming is featured on recordings by Smith, Hampton Hawes, Mundell Lowe and Jimmy Rowles. On a 1969 recording by Bobby Bryant called "Earth Dance," Bailey played harmonica.


Looking at today's hip happenings...

On the New York jazz scene... the Eric Alexander quartet is at the Village Vanguard. Guitarist Bireli Lagrene's Gypsy Project is at Iridium this week. Saxophonist Gato Barbieri is at the Blue Note. Dave Douglas is at the Jazz Standard tonight with his bands Parallel Worlds and Witness. Singer Chris Connor is at Birdland tonight and Thursday. The Alex Blake quartet is at the Zinc Bar tonight. The Pete Malinverni duo is at Sophia's tonight.

In greater Boston... Bobby Hutcherson is at Ryles in Cambridge, Mass., tonight and Thursday. The Brian Bromberg band is at Scullers jazz club in Boston tonight. The Richie Hart trio is at The Regattabar in Cambridge.

In Philadelphia... Giga Shane is at The Kimmel Center for a free show this evening. The Dave Posmontier duo is at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Cafe Degas.

In and around Chicago... Henry Johnson's Organ Express is at Andy's. Natalie Yoakley is at the Backroom. Jazz Vertigo is at Bistro America tonight. Mike Finnerty and the Jazz Hippies are at Cafe Ennui. The Bill Porter Orchestra with Rich Fudoli is at Green Dolphin Street. Kurt Elling's quartet is at the Green Mill.


The Brass Tracks Big Band is at Hackney's. Alan Gresik's Swing Shift Orchestra is at HotHouse. The Houston Person quartet is at The Jazz Showcase this week. Ken Saydak is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium tonight. Ron Perrillo is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston. Jackie Allen and Judy Roberts are at Philander's in Oak Park tonight.

On the New Orleans jazz scene... the 7e Jazz Trio is at the Blue Nile. Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. Leigh "Little Queenie" Harris is at Dos Jefes. The Soul Rebels Brass Band is at El Matador. The Steve Yocum trio is at Fritzel's. Kenneth Hagans and Lusher are at the Funky Butt.

Topsy Chapman is at Harrah's. Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers are at Le Bon Temps Roule. Jonathan Freilich and Friends are at Lounge Lizards. Ingrid Lucia is at Mid-City Lanes Rock 'n' Bowl. John Brunious leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. The John Mahoney Big Band is at Snug Harbor.

In California... the Steve Turre quintet is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight through Sunday. The John Giannelli quartet featuring Frank Marocco is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. Jack Sheldon California Quartet is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight.


The Dennise Neill quintet with Ron Stout is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton tonight. The Vince Lateano trio is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco. Toots Thielemans and Kenny Werner are at Yoshi's jazz club in Oakland through Sunday.

Guitarist Robben Ford is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle tonight. Ibrahim Ferrer is at the Paramount Theater in Seattle.

On the recording front...

New Orleans-based Los Hombres Calientes are out with their fourth Basin Street Records release, "Vol. 4: Vodou Dance." Percussionist and ex-Headhunter Bill Summers and trumpeter Irvin Mayfield co-lead the band. The CD documents modern and older African and Afro-based rhythms from Trinidad, Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba and New Orleans. Guest artists include Cyrille Neville, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, George Porter Jr., Bo Dollis, The LHC Horns, Davell Crawford, Santa Cruz, Pancho Quinto and Trinidad's Pamberi Steel Orchestra.

New York-based Random Chance Records has reissued trumpeter Chet Baker's 1982 studio recording "But Not For Me." He made the session with pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Ben Riley. There are vocals on two tracks; the title tune and a Baker version of the Miles Davis tune "Four."


Belgian composer Myriam Alter is out with a new recording called "If." It's on the Jenj label. Alter, who wrote all 10 compositions, normally plays piano but left the keyboard duties on this session to Kenny Werner. He's joined by Dino Saluzzi on bandoneon, John Ruocco on clarinet, Greg Cohen on bass and Joey Baron on drums. Alter said she "asked these extraordinary musicians to play my songs because I knew they would instinctively understand what I intended musically."

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