Today is May 15.
Clarinetist Edmond Hall was born this day in 1901 in New Orleans. On the New York swing and traditional jazz scene he worked with Henry Allen, Teddy Wilson, Eddie Condon and Louis Armstrong's All-Stars. In the 1950s, he was a regular performer at the Storyville jazz club in Boston. Ed Hall died in 1967.
Pianist Ellis Larkins was born this day in 1923 in Baltimore. Early in his career, he settled into the New York jazz scene, working with, among others, Billy Moore and clarinetist Edmund Hall. He recorded classic jazz duo albums with Ella Fitzgerald and Ruby Braff.
This was also the night, in 1953, when bebop jazz invaded Canada in a big way. It happened at Massey Hall in Toronto with a "modern giants" concert featuring Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Max Roach and Charles Mingus. The quintet performance, sponsored by the New Jazz Society, has been described as a landmark event in the history of bebop. It was far from a sellout event, but the band issued a recording called simply "The Quintet" that brought their performance to the ears of jazz fans around the world.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
There's a 50th anniversary jazz quintet concert tonight at Toronto's Massey Hall. The new event features a modern-day all-star unit with Herbie Hancock on piano, Roy Haynes on drums, Roy Hargrove on trumpet, Kenny Garrett on saxes and Dave Holland on bass. While the CBC All-Stars opened for the quintet in 1953, this concert will open with a local 17-piece big band, 2003 Massey Hall All-Stars, which will showcase top local players, including members of the original 1953 ensemble.
Elsewhere in Toronto... Mike Allen's quartet is at The Rex Jazz and Blues Bar. The Maty Stenlnic jazz band is at Gate 403.
Saxophonist Graham Ord's trio at the Cellar in Vancouver, British Columbia, tonight.
On the New York jazz scene... Poncho Sanchez and his Latin jazz ensemble are at the Blue Note through Sunday. The Babatunde Lea quintet with Ernie Watts and Kuumba Frank Lacy is at the Jazz Standard tonight and Friday. Ted Nash and Odeon are at the Village Vanguard through Sunday. The Jackie McLean quintet is at Iridium through Sunday.
Cuba's Orquesta Aragon is at Birdland tonight through Saturday. The Renee Rosnes quartet is at Sweet Rhythm tonight through Saturday. The Jaleel Shaw quintet is at The Jazz Gallery tonight. Trombonist Chris Washburne's SYOTOS Latin jazz band is at the Nuyorican Poets Café on Thursdays. The Cedar Walton trio is at Smoke tonight through Saturday.
The David Chevan-Warren Byrd duo, Avadim Hayinu, is at the Wallingford, Conn., Public Library tonight.
Flora Purim and Airto are at Scullers jazz club in Boston tonight and Friday.
Singer Steve Tyrell is at Zanzibar Blue in Philadelphia tonight.
Steve Smith and Vital Information with special guest Bill Evans on sax are at the Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz in Harrisburg tonight.
In Washington, D.C, the Kennedy Center's outdoor Millennium Stage features bassist Miriam Sullivan and her band, Jazz Sabroso Son, this evening. Vibes player Stefon Harris performs with his band tonight at the Kennedy Center's KC Jazz Club.
The Lynne Arriale trio is at the Jazz Factory in Louisville, Ky., tonight and Friday.
Rudy Linka, Miles Evans, Dan Fabricatore and Russ Meisner are at the Bop Stop in Cleveland tonight.
In Chicago... trumpeter Tom Harrell's quintet is at The Jazz Showcase this week. The Sutherland Community Arts Initiative presents a Spring Arts Happening Festival at the Spoken Word Café this weekend. Tonight features Jazz Poetry with Amiri Baraka. The Roscoe Mitchell quartet and Malachi Thompson and Africa Brass with Dee Alexander perform on Friday night. Oscar Brown Jr. closes things out at the Sutherland Performance Center on Saturday.
Elsewhere in and around the Windy City... the Ron Friedman quintet is at Andy's tonight. Detour is at the Backroom. There's a jam session with John Bany, Don Stille and Charles Braugham tonight at The Chambers in Niles. Alan Gresik's Swing Shift Orchestra is at the Green Mill tonight. Airborne is at the Jamada Restaurant in Bloomingdale.
Tim Tobias is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. The John Brumbach quartet is at Katerina's. Jim Clark's Jazz People are at the Landmark Inn in Northbrook on Thursdays. The Petropolous organ trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston. John Wright is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Ryan Cohan trio is at Pops for Champagne.
In New Orleans... the Improvisational Arts Council and Tondrae are at the Blue Nile. Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. Evan Christopher and Tom McDermott are at Donna's. The Eric Traub trio is at Dos Jefes. Brotherhood of Groove is at the Dragon's Den. Julia LaShae is at El Matador. Ryan Burrage and His Rhythmakers are at Fritzel's. Evan Howard and Jazz Sawyer are at the Funky Butt tonight.
Mark Braud is at Harrah's. The Soul Rebels Brass Band is at Le Bon Temps Roule. The Jazz Vipers are at the Maple Leaf. Dave Bartholomew leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. Brasiliance is at Snug Harbor tonight. The Panorama Jazz Band and the Royal Rounders are at the Spotted Cat. Kermit Ruffins is at Vaughan's.
On the California jazz scene... the Hank Jones trio is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles through Sunday. The Fullerton College big bands are at Steamers Jazz Café in Fullerton. The Bob McChesney quartet is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks tonight. The Ernie McDaniel trio is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen. Keiko Matsui is at Yoshi's in Oakland tonight through Sunday. Living Daylights is at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz tonight.
Tower of Power is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle through Sunday.