Jazz Beat: Natalie Cole, Tito Puente, McCoy Tyner ...

Tito Puente Way christened in New York.

Singer Natalie Cole confesses lurid details of her past in her autobiography "Angel on My Shoulder," co-written by Digby Diehl and due from Warner Books in November. The daughter of Nat King Cole was addicted to heroin and cocaine in the '70s and functioned as a come-on girl for a pimp — meaning she didn't hook but lured johns for other prostitutes. ...

110th Street between First and Fifth avenues in New York City officially became Tito Puente Way on Sunday (Aug. 20). A block party/festival was held to pay tribute to the late great percussionist Tito Puente, and artists including the Tito Puente Orchestra, Johnny Almendra and Los Jovenes del Barrio and others performed at the renaming. ...

Pianist McCoy Tyner and saxophonist John Surman are the big names at England's Coventry Jazz Festival this weekend (Aug. 24-28). For more information go to www.coventry.org/jazz/jazz_intro.htm. ...

Soprano saxophone great Steve Lacy is in the midst of a minitour of the States, performing in various configurations. On Friday (Aug. 25) he will play on an Orrin Keepnews-produced recording session of drummer Anthony Brown's Asian American Orchestra, after which Lacy will perform a duo with his vocalist wife Irene Aebi at the Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto, Calif. On Sept. 3 he performs at the Chicago Jazz Festival with the 10-piece Monk All Stars, including saxophonist Johnny Griffin and drummer Ben Riley, who played with Thelonious Monk. ...

Veteran drummer Norman Connors and his band Starship perform Thursday and Friday (Aug. 24-25) at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston. Connors latest CD, Eternity (Starship Records), features guests Michael Henderson and Gary Bartz. ...

The 13-day Earshot Jazz Festival gets going Oct. 20 in Seattle with a hefty lineup that includes bassist Dave Holland, saxophonists Lee Konitz and Trevor Watts, guitarists Bill Frisell and Russell Malone, pianists Cecil Taylor, Paul Bley and Joanne Brackeen and oodles more. For more info, visit www.earshot.org or call 206-547-9787. ...

Solo play "George Gershwin Alone," now in an extended run at the Tiffany Theater in Los Angeles, may move to Broadway if the producers can figure something out. The acclaimed show was written by and stars Hershey Felder as the great composer/pianist. ...

Paul Tobey, considered by those in the know to be one of Canada's premier pianists, has signed with Arkadia Jazz, with a CD, Street Culture, due in the fall. Arkadia will also reissue Tobey's 1998 solo album Wayward. ...

Stan Kenton buffs take heed: Tantara Productions has released Revelations, a four-CD set of previously unreleased music — spanning 1941–1978 — from the big band leader. Included with the set is a 44-page booklet that includes previously unpublished photographs, extensive data on all the tracks and liner notes by Kenton discographer/historian Michael Sparke. For info on where to find the set, call 815-436-8280. ...

Swing-revival aces the Cherry Poppin' Daddies will release Soul Caddy on Oct. 3, and word is that it will have more R&B elements than their 1997 hit Zoot Suit Riot. ...

The Veritas organization presents a "Friends of Charlie Parker" concert Sept. 25 at New York's Grand Ballroom. Players include bassists Ray Brown and Ron Carter, alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, drummer Ben Riley, trumpeter Clark Terry and others. For more information, call (212)-590-2110. ...

Avant Christian? On Sept. 3 New York's Knitting Factory is presenting a "Christ A-Go-Go Festival" that, according to a KF press release, will be "an experimental music and art festival celebrating and showcasing the oft-overlooked creative forces at work in the Christian church." Charles Gayle — who pretty much channels Jesus through his saxophone — will perform, as will Therefore, White Trash Inc., Jai Agnish and Soul-Junk. ... The day after that show soprano saxophone icon Steve Lacy performs at the Knitting Factory with his vocalist wife Irene Aebi. ...

Two forthcoming CDs by late saxophonists Stan Getz and Sonny Stitt draw from the extensive Left Bank Jazz Society vaults that are full of never-released material. On Sept. 26, Label M will issue Getz's My Foolish Heart and Stitt's Just the Way It Was — both recorded live at Baltimore's Famous Ballroom in the early '70s. The Getz date features Richie Beirach on piano, Dave Holland on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums. Stitt's band is Don Patterson on organ and Billy James on drums. Stitt plays electric saxophone on the date, and according to Label M, he was the first person to plug in his sax for a recording. (Click here for sonicnet.com's full story on Label M.) ...

Jam band followers, acid-jazz heads and crossover freaks, take note: The next bash is the Autumn Equinox Festival at Buffalo Gap in Capon Bridge, W.Va., Sept. 21–24. Guitarist John Scofield, funksters Galactic, banjo aces David Grisman and Béla Fleck and his Flecktones and lots more are on the bill. For more information check out www.walther-productions.com. ...

— sonicnet.com staff report