Jazz Notes: Goings on in the jazz world

By KEN FRANCKLING, United Press International  |  May 6, 2003 at 2:00 AM
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Today is May 6.

Trombonist Charlie Irvis, who played with Duke Ellington and Jelly Roll Morton, was born in New York City on this day in 1899.

Bass player David Friesen was born this day in 1942 in Tacoma, Wash. His playing first drew critical attention in 1977 with trumpeter Ted Curson's group at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

On this day in 1957, Miles Davis and Gil Evans went into the studios for Columbia to make their historic recording "Miles Ahead." It was their first orchestral masterpiece, soon to be followed by "Porgy and Bess" and "Sketches of Spain." "Miles Ahead" also was the album on which Davis played flugelhorn, helping establish it as an important expressive instrument in jazz.

Looking at today's hip happenings...

On the New York jazz scene... Flora Purim and Airto are at Iridium. Bucky Pizzarelli, John Bunch and Jay Leonhart are at the Jazz Standard this week. Marcus Miller and his band are at the Blue Note through Sunday. The Barry Harris trio is at the Village Vanguard. The Duke Ellington Orchestra directed by Paul Mercer Ellington and Jack Jeffers is at Birdland.

Trumpeter Brian Lynch's quintet is at the Zinc Bar tonight and Wednesday. Arnold Jay Smith closes out his Jazz Insights discussion group on vocalists tonight at New School University with Billy Verplanck discussing the art of accompaniment.

The Steven Kirby quintet is at The Regattabar in Cambridge, Mass., tonight. Andy Narell and Sakesho are at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass., tonight.

Steve Smith and Vital Information with special guest Bill Evans on sax are at Gilly's in Dayton, Ohio, tonight.

In the Chicago area... trumpeter Bobby Shew is at the Jazz Showcase this week with Bob Lark and the DePaul University Big Band. Men of Note are at Andy's tonight. The Vandermark Five is at the Empty Bottle. The Deep Blue Organ Trio is at the Green Mill. Ken Cheney is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium on the Navy Pier. Alfonso Ponticelli and Swing Gitan are at Katerina's on Tuesdays.

The Marc Pompe trio is at the 100 South Chop House in Elmhurst tonight. Von Freeman and Friends are at the New Apartment Lounge tonight. The Alison Ruble trio is at Pops for Champagne. The Taku Akiyama quartet is at Smoke Daddy. The Kimberly Gordon quartet is at the Underground Wonder Bar.

In New Orleans... Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. Jimmy Moliere and Fred Sheppard are at the Circle Bar. New Orleans Street Beat is at the Crescent City Brewhouse. Steve Yokum and The Catahoulas are at Fritzel's. The Funkin' Horns and Juan Ferdinand are at the Funky Butt tonight. Topsy Chapman is at Harrah's.

The ReBirth Brass Band is at the Maple Leaf. Greg Stafford leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. The Rob Wagner trio is at the Seaport Café. Maurice Brown is at Snug Harbor tonight. Linzzi Zaorski and Delta Royale are at the Spotted Cat. Joe Krown's Organ Combo is at d.b.a. tonight.

On the California jazz scene... trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos is at the Onyx Room in San Diego on Tuesdays. Violinist Regina Carter and her band are at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight through Sunday. The Pete Christlieb quartet is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight. The Ron Kobayashi trio is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton. This is John Pisano's Guitar Night with Ron Anthony at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. René Marie is at Yoshi's in Oakland tonight.

The Legends of Chicago Blues are at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle tonight and Wednesday.

On the recording front...

Concord Picante is out today with "Live!," percussionist Pete Escovedo's first live recording in more than 15 years. His all-star orchestra includes three Escovedo offspring, including his daughter, Sheila E.

Pianist Deanna Witkowski's newest CD is "Wide Open Window" on the Khaeon label. The 31-year-old Witkowski, winner of the 2002 Great American Piano Competition, showcases not only her keyboard abilities, but also her vocals. She's joined by bassist Jonathan Paul, drummer Tom Hipskind and saxophonist Donny McCaslin.

Tenor saxophonist Dave Ellis's Milestone debut is called "State of Mind." It teams the San Francisco Bay Area native with pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassists Peter Washington and Christian McBride, drummers Carl Allen and Lewis Nash and saxophonist Vincent Herring.

Non-jazz fans know him for his sideman horn work with Grateful Dead legacy bands including Bob Weir's band Ratdog, Phil Lesh and Friends, and the Other Ones.

Milestone is also out with Brazilian singer Ithamara Koorax's "Love Dance: The Ballad Album." It's a follow-up to her 2000 release, "Serenade in Blue." This new session was inspired by singer Mark Murphy's 1988 Milestone session, "September Ballads." Koorax sings in English, her native Portuguese, Spanish and German. Her debut album, "Luiza (Live in Rio)," won the Sharp Award, Brazil's equivalent of the Grammy, for Best New Artist in 1994. Her 1995 CD "Rio Vermelho" included Antonio Carlos Jobim's last recorded performance.

Pianist Jacques Chanier is out today with "Quilt" on Accurate Records. It documents his 4-year-old working trio with bassist Thompson Kneeland and drummer Brooke Sofferman. Chanier began his career playing in dance bands in the south of France in the 1970s.

GRP Records is out today with two contemporary guitar albums. They are "The Very Best of Marc Antoine" and "The Very Best of Lee Ritenour."

The San Diego-based fusion group Fattburger is out with its sixth CD, "Sizzlin'," on the Shanachie label. The band includes keyboardist Carl Evans Jr., percussionist Tommy Aros, drummer Kevin Koch, bassist Mark Hunter and guitarist Evan Marks.

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