Cultural Percussionist

Daily Roots with the Eternals

May 22, 2019

The Cosmos with NGC 6559, M8 & M20

May 21, 2019

These three bright nebulae are often featured on telescopic tours of the constellation Sagittarius and the crowded starfields of the central Milky Way. In fact, 18th century cosmic tourist Charles Messiercataloged two of them; M8, the large nebula just left of center, and colorful M20 on the top left. The third emission region includes NGC 6559 and can be found to the right of M8. All three are stellar nurseries about five thousand light-years or so distant. Over a hundred light-years across, the expansive M8 is also known as the Lagoon Nebula. M20’s popular moniker is the Trifid. Glowing hydrogen gas creates the dominant red color of theemission nebulae. In striking contrast, blue hues in the Trifid are due to dust reflected starlight. Recently formed bright blue stars are visible nearby. The colorful composite skyscape was recorded in 2018 in Teide National Park in the Canary Islands, Spain.

Larance Marable Day

May 21, 2019

Larance Marable (May 21, 1929 – July 4, 2012) was a jazz drummer from Los Angeles, California, who worked with Charlie Haden in his Quartet West.

Marable had a career as a bop musician in the 1950s, working with Dexter Gordon and Charlie Parker. In the 1960s he started to venture into the cool jazz idiom with Zoot Sims, George Shearing, and Chet Baker, although he worked with Baker as early as 1952 on the album Bird and Chet: Live at the Trade Winds.

Earlier in his career, he was known as Lawrence Marable.

Larance was a relative of Mississippi riverboat bandleader Fate Marable.

Fats Waller Day

May 21, 2019

Thomas WrightFatsWaller (May 21, 1904 – December 15, 1943) was an American jazz pianist, organist, composer, violinist, singer, and comedic entertainer. His innovations in the Harlem stride style laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano. His best-known compositions, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Honeysuckle Rose“, were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1984 and 1999. Waller copyrighted over 400 songs, many of them co-written with his closest collaborator, Andy Razaf. Razaf described his partner as “the soul of melody… a man who made the piano sing… both big in body and in mind… known for his generosity… a bubbling bundle of joy”. It’s possible he composed many more popular songs and sold them to other performers when times were tough.

Waller started playing the piano at the age of six, and became a professional organist aged 15. By the age of 18 he was a recording artist. Waller’s first recordings, “Muscle Shoals Blues” and “Birmingham Blues”, were made in October 1922 for Okeh Records. That year, he also made his first player piano roll, “Got to Cool My Doggies Now”. Waller’s first published composition, “Squeeze Me”, was published in 1924. He became one of the most popular performers of his era, touring internationally and achieving critical and commercial success in the United States and Europe. He died from pneumonia, aged 39. One descendant is professional football player Darren Waller, who is Fats’ great-grandson.

World Music with Alex Caton

May 21, 2019

Daily Roots with Ernest Wilson

May 21, 2019

The Cosmos with NGC 2023

May 20, 2019

Reflection nebulae are clouds of interstellar dust that reflect the light from nearby or internal sources, like fog around a car headlight.

NGC 2023 is one of the largest reflection nebulae in the sky.

Also known as LBN 954 or IRAS 05391-0217, the nebula was discovered by the British astronomer William Herschel on January 6, 1785.

The object is about 1,500 light-years away from Earth, very close to the well-known Horsehead and Flame nebulae.

NGC 2023 is illuminated by a massive young star named HD 37903.

The star is extremely hot — several times hotter than the Sun — and its bright blue-white light causes NGC 2023’s milky glow.

Such nebulae are often the birthplaces of stars, and contain a clumpy distribution of gas that’s significantly denser than the surrounding medium.

Under the influence of gravity, these clumps attract one another and merge, eventually creating a new star.

This new image of NGC 2023 was taken with VLT’s FOcal Reducer and Spectrograph (FORS) instrument as part of the ESO Cosmic Gems program.

This initiative produces images of interesting and visually attractive objects using ESO telescopes, for the purposes of education and outreach.

Joe Cocker Day

May 20, 2019

John Robert Cocker OBE (20 May 1944 – 22 December 2014), better known as Joe Cocker, was an English singer. He was known for his gritty voice, spasmodic body movement in performance, and distinctive versions of popular songs of varying genres. Cocker’s recording of the Beatles‘ “With a Little Help from My Friends” reached number one in the UK in 1968. He performed the song live at Woodstock in 1969 and performed the same year at the Isle of Wight Festival, and at the Party at the Palace concert in 2002 for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. His version also became the theme song for the TV series The Wonder Years. His 1974 cover of “You Are So Beautiful” reached number five in the US. Cocker was the recipient of several awards, including a 1983 Grammy Award for his US number one “Up Where We Belong“, a duet with Jennifer Warnes.

In 1993, Cocker was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male, in 2007 was awarded a bronze Sheffield Legends plaque in his hometown and in 2008 he received an OBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music. Cocker was ranked number 97 on Rolling Stones 100 greatest singers list.

Charles Davis Day

May 20, 2019

Charles Davis (May 20, 1933 – July 15, 2016) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Davis played alto, tenor and baritone saxophone, and performed extensively with Archie Shepp and Sun RaBorn in Goodman, Mississippi, Davis was raised in Chicago. He graduated from DuSable High School before studying at the Chicago School of Music. Davis also studied privately with John Hauser. During the 1950s, he played with Billie Holiday, Ben Webster, Sun Ra and Dinah Washington. Davis also performed and recorded with Kenny Dorham, with whom he associated musically for many years.

During the 1960s, he performed and recorded with Elvin Jones, Jimmy Garrison, Illinois Jacquet, Freddie Hubbard, Johnny Griffin, Steve Lacy and Ahmad Jamal, also working with Blue Mitchell, Erskine Hawkins, John Coltrane and Clifford Jordan. In 1964, Davis topped Downbeat Magazines International Jazz Critics Poll for baritone saxophone. He performed in the musical The Philosophy of The Spiritual – A Masque of the Black with Willie Jones, produced by Nadi Qamar. Davis taught at PS 179 in Brooklyn and was musical director of the Turntable, a nightclub owned by Lloyd Price.

During the 1970s, Davis was a member of the cooperative Artistry in Music with Hank Mobley, Cedar Walton, Sam Jones and Billy Higgins. He co-led, composed and arranged for the Baritone Saxophone Retinue, a six-baritone-saxophone group. Davis toured Europe, playing major jazz festivals and concerts with the Clark Terry Orchestra, and toured the United States with Duke Ellington’s Orchestra under the direction of Mercer Ellington. As musical director of the Home of the Id nightclub, he presented Gene Ammons, Randy Weston and Max Roach. As producer of the Monday Night Boat Ride Up The Hudson, Davis presented Art Blakey, George Benson and Etta Jones. He appeared on television with Archie Shepp, Lucky Thompson, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.

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