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Cultural Percussionist

The Cosmos with LEDA 3074547

October 12, 2019

The Boomerang Nebula is a protoplanetary nebula located 5,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Centaurus. It is also known as the Bow Tie Nebula and catalogued as LEDA 3074547. The nebula’s temperature is measured at 1 K (−272.15 °C; −457.87 °F) making it the coolest natural place currently known in the Universe.

The Boomerang Nebula is believed to be a star system evolving toward the planetary nebula phase. It continues to form and develop due to the outflow of gas from its core where a star in its late stage life sheds mass and emits starlight illuminating dust in the nebula. Millimeter scale dust grains mask portions of the nebula’s center so most escaping visible light is in two opposing lobes forming a distinctive hourglass shape as viewed from Earth. The outflowing gas is moving outwards at a speed of about 164 km/s and expanding rapidly as it moves out into space; this gas expansion results in the nebula’s unusually low temperature.

Keith Taylor and Mike Scarrott called it the “Boomerang Nebula” in 1980 after observing it with the Anglo-Australian telescope at the Siding Spring Observatory. Unable to view it with great clarity, the astronomers saw merely a slight asymmetry in the nebula’s lobes suggesting a curved shape like a boomerang. The nebula was photographed in detail by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1998 revealing a more symmetric hourglass shape.

In 1995, using the 15-metre Swedish-ESO Submillimetre Telescope in Chile, astronomers revealed that it is the coldest place in the Universe found so far, besides laboratory-created temperatures. With a temperature of −272 °C, it is only 1 °C warmer than absolute zero (the lowest limit for all temperatures). Even the −270 °C background glow from the Big Bang is warmer than the nebula. Aside from the CMB cold spot, it is the only object found so far that has a temperature lower than the background radiation.

Melvin Rhyne Day

October 12, 2019

Melvin Rhyne (October 12, 1936 – March 5, 2013, Indianapolis, Indiana), was a jazz organist best known for his work with Wes Montgomery. Melvin Rhyne was born in Indianapolis in 1936 and started playing the piano shortly after. At 19 years old, Rhyne started playing piano with then-unknown tenor saxophonist Rahsaan Roland Kirk but quickly switched over to the instrument that would make him famous: the Hammond B3 organ. Rhyne’s piano skills translated to the organ fluently and before long he was backing famous blues players like B.B. King and T-Bone Walker. In 1959 he was asked to join fellow Indianapolis musician Wes Montgomery‘s newly formed trio.

Rhyne then moved to Wisconsin and largely kept to himself for the next two decades. In 1991, however, he played on Herb Ellis‘s album Roll CallBrian Lynch‘s At the Main Event, and his own album, The Legend. He continued to be prolific in the years to come, releasing eight more solo albums on the Criss Cross Jazz label. Rhyne also recorded with The Mark Ladley Trio for the 1992 release, Strictly Business and the 1994 release, Evidence. Both landed in the Jazz Charts at CMJ New Music Report and The Gavin Report. The group also appeared on a Jazziz Magazine sampler disc during that time. Altenburgh Records posthumously released, Final Call in 2013 by the same group.

Guitar Gabriel Day

October 12, 2019

Robert Lewis Jones (October 12, 1925 – April 2, 1996), known as both Guitar Gabriel and Nyles Jones, was an American blues musician. Gabriel’s unique style of guitar playing, which he referred to as “Toot Blues”, combined PiedmontChicago, and Texas blues, as well as gospel, and was influenced by artists such as Blind Boy Fuller and Reverend Gary Davis. After hearing of Guitar Gabriel from the late Greensboro, North Carolinablues guitarist and pianist, James “Guitar Slim” Stephens, musician and folklorist Tim Duffy located and befriended Gabriel, who was the inspiration for the creation of the Music Maker Relief Foundation. Gabriel wore a trademark white sheepskin hat, which he acquired while traveling and performing with Medicine Shows during his late 20s. Gabriel was born in Decatur, Georgia, moving to Winston-Salem, North Carolina at age five. His father, Sonny Jones (also known as Jack Jones, James Johnson, and as Razorblade for an act in which he ate razor blades, mason jars, and light bulbs) recorded for Vocalion Records in 1939 in Memphis, accompanied by Sonny Terry and Oh Red (George Washington). Sonny Jones also recorded a single for the Orchid label in Baltimore in 1950 (as Sunny Jones). His family, who grew up sharecropping, shared a talent for music. His great-grandmother, an ex-slave, called set dances and played the banjo; his grandfather played banjo and his grandmother the pump organ; his father and uncle were blues guitarists and singers and his sisters sang blues and gospel

In 1935, Gabriel’s family moved to Durham, North Carolina, where he began playing guitar on the streets. Between the ages of 15 and 25, Gabriel traveled the country playing the guitar in medicine shows. During his travels, he performed with artists such as Bo DiddleyLightnin’ HopkinsLouis JordanChuck BerryMuddy WatersB. B. KingT-Bone Walker and Jimmy Reed. In 1970, Gabriel went to Pittsburgh and recorded a single, “Welfare Blues,” as well as an album, My South, My Blues, with the Gemini label under the name “Nyles” Jones. The 45 became a hit in Pittsburgh and Cleveland and though the album sold well, Gabriel never saw any royalties. Disillusioned and embittered by the music business, Gabriel returned home to Winston-Salem where he continued playing music, but expressly for his community, at churches, homes, clubs, “drink houses,” and even at bus stops when children were returning home from school. The album, My South, My Blues was reissued in 1988, on the French label, Jambalaya, as Nyles Jones, the Welfare Blues.

Tubby Hall Day

October 12, 2019

Alfred “Tubby” Hall (October 12, 1895 – May 13, 1945) was a jazz drummer.Hall was born in Sellers, Louisiana; his family moved to New Orleans in his childhood. His younger brother Minor “Ram” Hall also became a professional drummer. He played in many marching bands in New Orleans, including with Buddie Petit. In March 1917 Tubby Hall moved to Chicago, where he played with Sugar Johnny Smith. After two years in the United States Army, he returned to playing in Chicago mostly with New Orleans bands, joining Carroll Dickerson‘s Orchestra (recording with it in 1927) and later with the groups of King OliverJimmie NooneTiny ParhamJohnny Dodds. Noted swing and big-band drummer Gene Krupa said that Hall and Zutty Singleton “were great! They knew every trick and just how to phrase the parts of the choruses behind the horns, how to lead a man in, what to do at the turn-arounds, when to use sticks and when to use brushes, when to go for the rims or the woodblocks, what cymbals are for.” He is seen in Armstrong’s movies of the early 1930s, including the live action and Betty Boop cartoon I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead, You Rascal You (1932) and A Rhapsody in Black and Blue(1932), made by Paramount. Only Armstrong and Hall got closeups in the two films, and both get their faces transposed with those of racially stereotyped “jungle natives” in the cartoon. Hall morphs from a jazz drummer to a cannibal stirring a cooking pot with two wooden sticks. His drumming style was forceful and sober, generally maintaining constant tempo on the snare. Jazz critic Hugues Panassié considered him one of the three greatest jazz drummers of his generation, along with Zutty Singleton and Warren “Baby” Dodds.

Tubby Hall died in Chicago

World Music with Asmâa Hamzaoui & Bnat Timbouktou

October 12, 2019

Daily Roots with Barry Brown

October 12, 2019

The Cosmos with NGC 4567/68

October 12, 2019

NGC 4567 and NGC 4568 (nicknamed the Siamese Twins or the Butterfly Galaxies) are a set of unbarred spiral galaxies about 60 million light-years away in the constellation Virgo. They were both discovered by William Herschel in 1784. They are part of the Virgo cluster of galaxies. Only one supernova (SN 2004cc) has been observed in the Siamese Twins. Distance 59.4 Mly. These galaxies are in the process of colliding and merging with each other, as studies of their distributions of neutral and molecular hydrogen show, with the highest star formation activity in the part where they overlap. However the system is still in an early phase of interaction. They were named “Siamese Twins” because they appear to be connected.

Lester Bowie Day

October 12, 2019

Lester Bowie (October 11, 1941 – November 8, 1999) was an American jazz trumpet player and composer. He was a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and co-founded the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Born in the historic village of Bartonsville in Frederick County, Maryland, Bowie grew up in St Louis, Missouri. At the age of five he started studying the trumpet with his father, a professional musician. He played with blues musicians such as Little Milton and Albert King, and rhythm and blues stars such as Solomon BurkeJoe Tex, and Rufus Thomas. In 1965, he became Fontella Bass‘s musical director and husband. He was a co-founder of Black Artists Group (BAG) in St Louis.In 1966, he moved to Chicago, where he worked as a studio musician, and met Muhal Richard Abrams and Roscoe Mitchell and became a member of the AACM. In 1968, he founded the Art Ensemble of Chicago with Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, and Malachi Favors. He remained a member of this group for the rest of his life, and was also a member of Jack DeJohnette‘s New Directions quartet. He lived and worked in Jamaica and Africa, and played and recorded with Fela Kuti. Bowie’s onstage appearance, in a white lab coat, with his goatee waxed into two points, was an important part of the Art Ensemble’s stage show.In 1984, he formed Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy, a brass nonet in which Bowie demonstrated jazz’s links to other forms of popular music, a decidedly more populist approach than that of the Art Ensemble. With this group he recorded songs previously associated with  Whitney HoustonMichael Jackson, and Marilyn Manson, along with other material. His New York Organ Ensemble featured James Carter and Amina Claudine Myers. In the mid 1980s he was also part of the jazz supergroup The Leaders. Featuring tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman, alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe, drummer Famoudou Don Moye, pianist Kirk Lightsey, and bassist Cecil McBee. At this time, he was also playing the opening theme music for The Cosby Show.

Billy Higgins Day

October 12, 2019

Billy Higgins (October 11, 1936 – May 3, 2001) was an American jazz drummer. He played mainly free jazz and hard bop. Higgins was born in Los Angeles. Higgins played on Ornette Coleman‘s first records, beginning in 1958. He then freelanced extensively with hard bop and other post-bop players, including Donald ByrdDexter GordonGrant GreenHerbie HancockJoe HendersonPaul HornMilt JacksonJackie McLeanPat MethenyHank MobleyThelonious MonkLee MorganDavid MurrayArt PepperSonny RollinsMal Waldron, and Cedar Walton. He was one of the house drummers for Blue Note Records and played on dozens of Blue Note albums of the 1960s In his career, he played on over 700 recordings, including recordings of rock and funk. He appeared as a jazz drummer in the 2001 movie Southlander. In 1989, Higgins cofounded a cultural center, The World Stage, in Los Angeles to encourage and promote younger jazz musicians. The center provides workshops in performance and writing, as well as concerts and recordings. Higgins also taught in the jazz studies program at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was divorced from wife Mauricina Altier Higgins and had three sons, William, Joseph, and David, as well as a stepson Jody. His youngest son Benjamin resides in Los Angeles. He also had two daughters, Rickie Wade and Heidi. Billy Higgins died of kidney and liver failure on May 3, 2001 at a hospital in Inglewood, California.

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