Today is April 18.
Guitarist Tony Mottola was born this day in 1918. A fine swing guitarist, he was featured for many years in Doc Severinsen's late night Tonight Show Band.
Bass player Jimmy Rowser was born this day in 1926 in Philadelphia. After a stint in the house band at the Blue Note club in Philadelphia in the mid-1950s, he toured and recorded with Dinah Washington, Maynard Ferguson, Lee Morgan and Red Garland and Les McCann.
On this day in 1973, stride piano great Willie "The Lion" Smith died in New York City. There was a delicacy to his playing and to his songwriting that contradicted his nickname and his tendency toward self-promotion.
This also was the day, in 1941, when Sidney Bechet recorded "The Sheik of Araby" and "Blues of Bechet" for the Victor label. He played six different instruments on the one-man session -- clarinet, soprano and tenor saxophones, piano, bass and drums.
In his autobiography, "Treat it Gentle," Bechet recalled the Musicians Union forced RCA to pay him the wages of six musicians. While neither track was strong artistically, both tunes set a precedent for overdubbing techniques that are commonplace today.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... Clark Terry's quintet is at Birdland tonight through Saturday. The James Cotton blues band with special guest Joe Louis Walker is at the Blue Note tonight. The Don Byron sextet is at the Village Vanguard. Los Hombres Caliente are at Sweet Rhythm tonight through Sunday. Pianist Robert Glasper's trio is at The Jazz Gallery tonight.
The Mike Stern Band, with special guests Richard Bona and Terri Lyne Carrington, is at Iridium tonight. Vibes player Stefon Harris's 12-piece Grand Unification Theory is at the Jazz Standard through Sunday. The Russell Malone quartet is at Smoke tonight and Saturday. The Eldridge Taylor Marvel Comets are at SWING46 tonight. The Ralph Peterson quartet is at The Triad tonight. The Onaje Allen Gumbs quartet is at the Lenox Lounge in Harlem tonight and Saturday
Santi Debriano and Circlechant are at Trumpets in Montclair, N.J., tonight.
In the Boston area tonight... Gato Barbieri is at Scullers jazz club through Saturday. Kenny Barron's "Canta Brasil" band with Romero Lubambo, Nilson Matta, Duduka da Fonseca and Anne Drummond is at The Regattabar in Cambridge through Saturday. The Fernando Huergo group featuring Chris Cheek, Mika Pohjola, Fernando Huergo and Franco Pinna is at Ryles in Cambridge tonight.
In greater Philadelphia tonight... Tim Lekan is at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Cafe Degas tonight. The Afro-Cuban All Stars are at the Zellerbach Theatre. The Mike Kennedy quartet is at Chris's Jazz Cafe tonight. Singer Barbara Walker is at Zanzibar Blue tonight. The John Scofield band and the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey are at Conduit in Trenton, N.J., tonight.
In the Chicago area... the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra with Lew Tabackin is at the Jazz Showcase through Sunday. The Chris Lega-Pat Mallinger quintet is at Andy's. Judy Roberts is at The Chicago Firehouse. The Jimy and Ray Show is at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn. The Chuchito Valdes Afro-Cuban Ensemble is at the Green Mill tonight and Saturday.
David Murray and the Gwo-Ka Masters are at HotHouse tonight and Saturday. Skinny Williams is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium tonight. Dark Room Chemicals are at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston tonight and Saturday. King Fleming is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Bradley Yound quartet is at Pops for Champagne.
In New Orleans... Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. The Treme Brass Band is at Donna's. Rickie Castrillo and Dreamland are at Dos Jefes. Michael Ray and the Cosmic Krewe are at the Dragon's Den. Arlee Leonard and Devin Philips are at the Funky Butt.
The Rob Wagner trio is at Loft 523. The Ernie Elly Slickshots with Thais Clark are at the Palm Court. Leroy Jones leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. Ellis Marsalis is at Snug Harbor. The New Orleans Jazz Vipers are at the Spotted Cat tonight.
The Dave Holland quintet is at the Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colo., tonight.
On the California jazz scene... saxophonist Lee Konitz is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles this week. The Chucho Valdes quartet is at the University Of Southern California's Bovard Auditorium. Saxophonist Ricky Woodard is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen with the John Heard trio tonight and Saturday. Kellye Gray is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton tonight with the Shelly Berg trio. The Jennifer Leitham trio is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks.
Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa returns to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco with a new, multi-media presentation tonight and Saturday. Alto saxophonist Andrew Speight's band presents a tribute to Cannonball Adderley at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco tonight. The Elvin Jones Jazz Machine is at Yoshi's in Oakland through Sunday. La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley tonight presents the second installment in its six-part "Bay Area Latin Jazz Legacy" series, hosted by percussionist John Santos. Tonight's discussion and concert feature Mingus Amungus and Pete Escovedo.
Singer Steve Tyrell is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle through Sunday.