mick’s blog

Cosmos Comet C/2017 K2

June 30, 2022

Imaged on June 20 2022, comet C/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS) shares this wide telescopic field of view with open star cluster IC 4665 and bright star Beta Ophiuchi, near a starry edge of the Milky Way. On its maiden voyage to the inner Solar System from the dim and distant Oort cloud, this comet PanSTARRS was initially spotted over five years ago, in May 2017. Then it was the most distant active inbound comet ever found, discovered when it was some 2.4 billion kilometers from the Sun. That put it between the orbital distances of Uranus and Saturn. Hubble Space Telescope observations indicated the comet had a large nucleus less than 18 kilometers in diameter. Now visible in small telescopes C/2017 K2 will make its closest approach to planet Earth on July 14 and closest approach to the Sun this December. Its extended coma and developing tail are seen here at a distance of some 290 million kilometers, a mere 16 light-minutes away.

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Dave Van Ronk

June 30, 2022

David Kenneth Ritz Van Ronk (June 30, 1936 – February 10, 2002) was an American folk singer. An important figure in the American folk music revival and New York City’s Greenwich Village scene in the 1960s, he was nicknamed the “Mayor of MacDougal Street“.

Van Ronk’s work ranged from old English ballads to blues, gospel, rock, New Orleans jazz, and swing. He was also known for performing instrumental ragtime guitar music, especially his transcription of “St. Louis Tickle” and Scott Joplin‘s “Maple Leaf Rag“. Van Ronk was a widely admired avuncular figure in “the Village”, presiding over the coffeehouse folk culture and acting as a friend to many up-and-coming artists by inspiring, assisting, and promoting them. Folk performers he befriended include Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Patrick Sky, Phil Ochs, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and Joni Mitchell. Dylan recorded Van Ronk’s arrangement of the traditional song “House of the Rising Sun” on his first album, which the Animals turned into a chart-topping rock single in 1964, helping inaugurate the folk-rock movement.

Van Ronk received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in December 1997.

On February 12th, 2002, Dave Van Ronk died in a New York hospital of cardiopulmonary failure while undergoing postoperative treatment for colon cancer.

Van Ronk was born in Brooklyn to a family that was “mostly Irish, despite the Dutch name”.[5] He moved from Brooklyn to Queens around 1945 and began attending Holy Child Jesus Catholic School, whose students were mainly of Irish descent. He had been performing in a barbershop quartetsince 1949, but left before finishing high school, and spent time in the Merchant Marine.

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Stanley Clarke

June 30, 2022

Stanley Clarke (born June 30, 1951) is an American bassist, film composer and founding member of Return to Forever, one of the first jazz fusion bands. Clarke gave the bass guitar a prominence it lacked in jazz-related music. He is the first jazz-fusion bassist to headline tours, sell out shows worldwide and have recordings reach gold status.

Clarke is a 5-time Grammy winner, with 15 nominations, 3 as a solo artist, 1 with the Stanley Clarke Band, and 1 with Return to Forever. Clarke was selected to become a 2022 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship.

A Stanley Clarke electric bass is permanently on display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Clarke was born on June 30, 1951 in Philadelphia. His mother sang opera around the house, belonged to a church choir, and encouraged him to study music. He started on accordion, then tried violin. But he felt awkward holding such a small instrument in his big hands when he was twelve years old and over six feet tall. No one wanted the acoustic bass in the corner, so he picked it up. He took lessons on double bass at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, beginning with five years of classical music. He picked up bass guitar in his teens so that he could perform at parties and imitate the rock and pop bands that girls liked.

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Andrew Hill

June 30, 2022

Andrew Hill (June 30, 1931 – April 20, 2007) was an American jazz pianist and composer.

Jazz critic John Fordham described Hill as a “uniquely gifted composer, pianist and educator” although “his status remained largely inside knowledge in the jazz world for most of his career.”

Hill recorded for Blue Note Records for nearly a decade, producing a dozen albums.

Andrew Hill was born in Chicago, Illinois (not in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, nor was he born in 1937, as was reported by many earlier jazz reference books), to William and Hattie Hill. He had a brother, Robert, who was a singer and classical violin player. Hill took up the piano at the age of thirteen, and was encouraged by Earl Hines. As a child, he attended the University of Chicago Experimental School. He was referred by jazz composer Bill Russoto Paul Hindemith, with whom he studied informally until 1952.

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Lena Horne

June 30, 2022

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne (June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010) was an American dancer, actress, singer, and civil rights activist. Horne’s career spanned over seventy years, appearing in film, television, and theatre. Horne joined the chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of sixteen and became a nightclub performer before moving to Hollywood.

Horne advocated for human rights and took part in the March on Washington in August 1963. Later she returned to her roots as a nightclub performer and continued to work on television while releasing well-received record albums. She announced her retirement in March 1980, but the next year starred in a one-woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, which ran for more than 300 performances on Broadway. She then toured the country in the show, earning numerous awards and accolades. Horne continued recording and performing sporadically into the 1990s, retreating from the public eye in 2000.

Lena Horne was born in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Both sides of her family were African American though with a mixture of African, Native American, and European ancestry. She belonged to the upper stratum of middle-class, well-educated black people. She was reportedly descended from the John C. Calhoun family; his nephew, Dr Andrew Bonaparte Calhoun, “owned the slaves whose descendants include… Horne”.

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World Music Daniel Herskedal

June 30, 2022

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Daily Roots Fabine

June 30, 2022

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Cosmos Solar System

June 29, 2022

A rare roll-call of planets has been occurring in the morning sky for much of June. The featured fisheye all-sky image, taken a few mornings ago near the town of San Pedro de Atacama in Chile, caught not only the entire planet parade, but the Moon between Mars and Venus. In order, left to right along the ecliptic plane, members of this Solar System family portrait are Earth, Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, Mars, Uranus, Venus, Mercury, and Earth. To emphasize their locations, Neptune and Uranus have been artificially enhanced. The volcano just below Mercury is Licancabur. In July, Mercury will move into the Sun’s glare but reappear a few days later on the evening side. Then, in August, Saturn will drift past the direction opposite the Sun and so become visible at dusk instead of dawn. The next time that all eight planets will be simultaneously visible in the evening sky will be in 2122.

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Little Eva

June 29, 2022

Eva Narcissus Boyd (June 29, 1943 – April 10, 2003), known by the stage name of Little Eva, was an American pop singer, well known for her 1962 hit “The Loco-Motion”. Although some sources claim that her stage name was inspired by a character from the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, she stated in an interview that she was named after her aunt, which prompted her family to call her “Little Eva”.

Boyd was born in Belhaven, North Carolina in 1943 and had twelve siblings. At the age of fifteen, she moved to the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, New York. As a teenager, Boyd worked as a maid and earned extra money as a babysitter for songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

It is often claimed that Goffin and King were amused by Boyd’s particular dancing style, so they wrote “The Loco-Motion” for her and had her record it as a demo (the record was intended for Dee Dee Sharp). However, as King said in an interview with NPR and in her “One to One” concert video, they knew she could sing when they met her, and it would be just a matter of time before they would have her record songs they wrote, the most successful being “The Loco-Motion”. Music producer Don Kirshner of Dimension Records was impressed by the song and Boyd’s voice and had it released.The song reached No. 1 in the United States in 1962. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. After the success of “The Loco-Motion”, Boyd was stereotyped as a dance-craze singer and was given limited material.

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Julian Priester

June 29, 2022

Julian Priester (born June 29, 1935) is an American jazz trombonist and occasional euphoniumist. He is sometimes credited “Julian Priester Pepo Mtoto”. He has played with Sun Ra, Max Roach, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, and Herbie Hancock.

He was born in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Priester attended Chicago’s DuSable High School, where he studied under Walter Dyett. In his teens he played with blues and R&B artists such as Muddy Waters, and Bo Diddley, and had the opportunity to jam with jazz players such as the saxophonist Sonny Stitt.

In the early 1950s, Priester was a member of Sun Ra‘s big band, recording several albums with the group, before leaving Chicago in 1956 to tour with Lionel Hampton, and he then joined Dinah Washington in 1958. The following year he settled in New York and joined the group led by drummer Max Roach, who heard him playing on the Philly Joe Jones album, “Blues for Dracula” (1958). While playing in Roach’s group, Priester also recorded two albums as a leader, Keep Swingin’ and Spiritsville, both of which were recorded and released by Riverside (the latter by their Jazzland subsidiary) in 1960.

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World Music Acetre

June 29, 2022

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Daily Roots Jackie Edwards

June 29, 2022

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Cosmos IC 2944

June 28, 2022

IC 2944, also known as the Running Chicken Nebula, the Lambda Centauri Nebula or the λ Centauri Nebula, is an open cluster with an associated emission nebula found in the constellation Centaurus, near the star λ Centauri. It features Bok globules, which are frequently a site of active star formation. However, no evidence for star formation has been found in any of the globules in IC 2944. Other designations for IC 2944 include RCW 62, G40 and G42.

The ESO Very Large Telescope image on the right is a close up of a set of Bok globules discovered in IC 2944 by astronomer A. David Thackeray in 1950. These globules are now known as Thackeray’s Globules. In 2MASS images, 6 stars are visible within the largest globule.

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John Medeski

June 28, 2022

Anthony John Medeski (born June 28, 1965) is an American jazz keyboard player and composer. Medeski is a veteran of New York’s 1990s avant-garde jazz scene and is known popularly as a member of Medeski Martin & Wood. He plays the acoustic piano and an eclectic array of keyboards, including the Hammond B3 organ, melodica, mellotron, clavinet, ARP String Ensemble, Wurlitzer electric piano, Moog Voyager Synthesizer, Wurlitzer 7300 Combo Organ, Vox Continental Baroque organ, and Yamaha CS-1 Synthesizer (a “kids’ toy”), among others. When playing acoustic piano, Medeski usually plays the Steinway piano and is listed as a Steinway Artist.

Medeski was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and grew up in Florida. After studying piano as a child (starting when he was five years old), he began as a teenager to perform with musicians such as Mark Murphy and Jaco Pastorius. He attended Pine Crest School. In 1983, after graduating from high school, he began studying piano at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he performed as a sideman with Dewey Redman, Billy Higgins, Bob Mintzer, Alan Dawson. Medeski attributes his early interest in playing improvised music and jazz to listening to Oscar Peterson.

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Pete Candoli

June 28, 2022

Pete Candoli (born Walter Joseph Candoli; June 28, 1923 – January 11, 2008) was an American jazz trumpeter and the brother of trumpeter Conte Candoli. He played with the big bands of Woody Herman and Stan Kenton and worked in the studios of the recording and television industries.

A native of Mishawaka, Indiana, Pete Candoli was the older brother of Conte Candoli. During the 1940s he was a member of big bands led by Sonny Dunham, Will Bradley, Ray McKinley, Tommy Dorsey, Teddy Powell, Woody Herman, Boyd Raeburn, Tex Beneke, and Jerry Gray. For his ability to hit high notes on the trumpet he was given the nickname “Superman”. While he was a member of Woody Herman’s First Herd, he sometimes wore a Superman costume during his solo. In the 1950s he belonged to the bands of Stan Kenton and Les Brown and in Los Angeles began to work as a studio musician. His studio work included recording soundtracks for the movies Bell, Book and Candle, Private Hell 36, Save the Tiger, The Man with the Golden Arm, and The Prisoner of Second Avenue and appearing with The Tonight Show Band.

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David Honeyboy Edwards

June 28, 2022

David “Honeyboy” Edwards (June 28, 1915 – August 29, 2011) was a Delta blues guitarist and singer from Mississippi.

Edwards was born in Shaw, Mississippi. He learned to play music from his father, a guitarist and violinist. At the age of 14, he left home to travel with the bluesman Big Joe Williams, beginning life as an itinerant musician, which he maintained through the 1930s and 1940s. He performed with the famed blues musician Robert Johnson, with whom he developed a close friendship. Edwards was present on the night Johnson drank the poisoned whiskey that killed him, and his story has become the definitive version of Johnson’s demise. Edwards also knew and played with other leading bluesmen in the Mississippi Delta, including Charley Patton, Tommy Johnson, and Johnny Shines.

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SUPPORT UKRAINE Siadaj Polkka

June 28, 2022

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Daily Roots Ras Michael & Sons of Negrus

June 28, 2022

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Cosmos NGC 7496

June 27, 2022

This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the barred spiral galaxy NGC 7496, which lies over 24 million light-years away in the constellation Grus. This constellation, whose name is Latin for crane, is one of four constellations collectively known as the Southern Birds. The others are Pavo, Phoenix and Tucana, which depict a peacock, phoenix, and toucan respectively. The rest of the night sky is also home to a flock of ornithological constellations, including an eagle (Aquilla), swan (Cygnus), crow (Corvus), and dove (Columba).  This image comes from a collection of observations delving into the relationship between young stars and the cold, dense clouds of gas in which they form. In addition to observations with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys, the astronomers behind this project gathered data using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), one of the largest radio telescopes in the world.  As well as shedding light on the speed and efficiency of star formation in a variety of galactic environments, this project is also creating a treasury of data incorporating both Hubble and ALMA observations. This treasure trove of data from two of the world’s most capable observatories will contribute to wider research into star formation, as well as paving the way for future science with the James Webb Space Telescope. Links Video of Hubble Goes Galactic Birdwatching

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Khadja Bin

June 27, 2022

Khadja Nin (born 27 June 1959) is a Burundian singer and musician.

Nin was born in Burundi, the youngest of a family of eight. Her father was a diplomat. She studied music at an early age like most of her brothers and sisters. With her exceptional singing voice, at the age of seven she became one of the lead vocalists in the Bujumbura choir and performed in the local cathedral. She left Burundi for Zaire in 1975 and married in 1978. In 1980 she emigrated to Belgium with her two-year-old son. In 1985 she obtained a contract with BMG. Her second album, a 1994 release entitled Ya Pili, was critically acclaimed.

Her breakthrough came in 1996 with her widely popular album Sambolera, which was sung in Swahili, Kirundi, and French. In 1997 she performed the song “Sailing” in a duet with Montserrat Caballé on the album Friends For Life. She successfully used a blend between African rhythms and modern pop to create her own unique brand of music. One of her most popular songs is Sina Mali, Sina Deni, a translated cover version of Stevie Wonder‘s song Free.

The first album was released in 1992, sung in Swahili. But it is best known in France in 1995 with the tube Sambolera mali sound, a title of the second album, Ya Pili (The second). The third album is a compilation of old and new titles. Jeanne Moreau makes the clip illustrating her song Mama, where she talks about her mother, on her fourth album Ya … . The texts of this album are in Swahili or Kirundi (for the chorus of the title Mama). The album also includes a cover of a piece by Gabonese musician Pierre Akendengué, Africa Obota, and a title of Stevie Wonder, Free that she renamed Sina mali, sina deni (I am neither rich nor indebted). Another piece pays tribute to Nelson Mandela, and a song calls for easing the embargo imposed on Burundi.

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