mick’s blog

Elton John Day

March 25, 2018

Sir Elton Hercules John CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947) is an English singer, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriting partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date. In his five-decade career Elton John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. He has more than fifty Top 40hits, including seven consecutive No. 1 US albums, 58 Billboard Top 40 singles, 27 Top 10, four No. 2 and nine No. 1. For 31 consecutive years (1970–2000) he had at least one song in the Billboard Hot 100. His tribute single “Candle in the Wind 1997“, re-penned in dedication to the late Princess Diana, sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling single in the history of the U.K. and U.S. singles charts.[6][7][8] He has also composed music, produced records, and has occasionally acted in films. John owned Watford Football Club from 1976 to 1987, and 1997 to 2002. He is an honorary Life President of the club, and in 2014 had a stand named after him at the club’s home stadium.

Raised in the Pinner area of London, John learned to play piano at an early age, and by 1962 had formed Bluesology. John met his songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin, in 1967, after they had both answered an advert for songwriters. For two years they wrote songs for other artists, including Lulu, and John also worked as a session musician for artists such as the Hollies and the Scaffold. In 1969 his debut album, Empty Sky, was released. In 1970 a single, “Your Song“, from his second album, Elton John, reached the top ten in the UK and the US, his first hit single. After decades of commercial chart success, John has also achieved success in musical theatre, both in the West End and on Broadway, composing the music for The Lion King (film and musical), Aida and Billy Elliot the Musical.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFbCd-gGigM” /]

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Aretha Franklin Day

March 25, 2018

Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942 Memphis, TN) is an American singer and songwriter. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister. In 1960, at the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but only achieving modest success.

Following her signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as “Respect“, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman“, “Spanish Harlem” and “Think“. By the end of the 1960s decade she had gained the title “The Queen of Soul“. Franklin eventually recorded a total of 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and twenty number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart’s history. Franklin also recorded acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, Lady Soul, Young, Gifted and Black and Amazing Grace before experiencing problems with her record company by the mid-1970s. After her father was shot in 1979, Franklin left Atlantic and signed with Arista Records, finding success with her part in the film The Blues Brothers and with the albums Jump to It and Who’s Zoomin’ Who?. In 1998, Franklin won international acclaim for singing the opera aria “Nessun dorma“, at the Grammys of that year replacing Luciano Pavarotti. Later that same year, she scored her final Top 40 recording with “A Rose Is Still a Rose“. Franklin’s other popular and well known hits include “Rock Steady“, “Jump to It“, “Freeway of Love“, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who“, “Chain Of Fools“, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (with George Michael), and a remake of The Rolling Stones song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash“.

Franklin has won a total of 18 Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. Franklin has been honored throughout her career including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in which she became the first female performer to be inducted. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In August 2012, Franklin was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Franklin is listed in at least two all-time lists on Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time; and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6YCxXQ6Scw” /]

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Paul Motion Day

March 25, 2018

Stephen Paul Motian (March 25, 1931 – November 22, 2011) was an American jazz drummer, percussionist, and composer. Motian played an important role in freeing jazz drummers from strict time-keeping duties.[citation needed]

He first came to prominence in the late 1950s in the piano trio of Bill Evans, and later was a regular in pianist Keith Jarrett‘s band for about a decade (c. 1967–1976). Motian began his career as a bandleader in the early 1970s. Perhaps his two most notable groups were a longstanding trio of guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano, and the Electric Bebop Band which featured the drummer working mostly with younger musicians doing interpretations of bebop standards.

Motian was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. He is of Armenian descent. After playing guitar in his childhood, Motian began playing the drums at age 12, eventually touring New England in a swing band. During the Korean War he joined the Navy.

Motian became a professional musician in 1954, and briefly played with pianist Thelonious Monk. He became well known as the drummer in pianist Bill Evans‘s trio (1959–64), initially alongside bassist Scott LaFaro and later with Chuck Israels. 

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Cecil Taylor Day

March 25, 2018

Cecil Percival Taylor (born March 25, 1929) is an American pianist and poet. Classically trained, Taylor is generally acknowledged as one of the pioneers of free jazz. His music is characterized by an extremely energetic, physical approach, producing complex improvised sounds, frequently involving tone clusters and intricate polyrhythms. His piano technique has been likened to percussion, for example described as “eighty-eight tuned drums” (referring to the number of keys on a standard piano). He has also been described as “like Art Tatum with contemporary-classical leanings”.

Taylor was raised in the Corona, Queens neighborhood of New York City.  As an only child to a middle-class family, Taylor’s mother encouraged him to play music at an early age. He began playing piano at age six and went on to study at the New York College of Music and New England Conservatory. At the New England Conservatory, Taylor majored in composition and arranging. During his time there, he also became familiar with contemporary European art music. Bartok and Stockhausen have notably influenced his music.

In 1955, Taylor moved from Boston to New York City. He formed a quartet with soprano saxophonist, Steve Lacy, the bassist Buell Neidlinger, and drummer Dennis Charles.

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Sweet Emma Barrett Day

March 25, 2018

“Sweet Emma” Barrett (March 25, 1897, New Orleans, Louisiana – January 28, 1983) was an American, self-taught jazz pianist and singer who worked with the Original Tuxedo Orchestra between 1923 and 1936, first under Papa Celestin, then William Ridgely. She also worked with Armand Piron, John Robichaux, Sidney Desvigne, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

In 1947, she accepted a steady job at Happy Landing, a local club, but it was her recording debut in 1961, with her own album in the Riverside Records New Orleans: The Living Legends series, that brought her recognition. Although most of the songs on the album were instrumentals, others featured vocals by Barrett that the liner notesdescribed as her first recordings as a vocalist.

She was nicknamed “Bell Gal” because she wore a red skull cap and garters with Christmas bells that jingled in time with her music. She was featured on the cover of Glamour magazine and written about in publications in the U.S. and Europe. She toured with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band domestically and internationally, including a stint at Disneyland in 1963.

Despite the popular exposure she received at concerts and overseas appearances, Barrett continued to feel most comfortable in her native New Orleans, especially the French Quarter. In 1963, on her album The Bell Gal and Her Dixieland Boys Music, Barrett sings on four of the eight songs and heads two overlapping groups. She is joined throughout by banjoist Emanuel Sayles, bassist Placide Adams, and drummer Paul Barbarin, and four songs feature trumpeter Alvin Alcorn, trombonist Jim Robinson and clarinetist Louis Cottrell, Jr.; the remaining four numbers have trumpeter Don Albert, trombonist Frog Joseph and clarinetist Raymond Burke.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhtG5YrQ-lY

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World Music with Liam O’Flynn

March 25, 2018

Master uilleann piper Liam O’Flyn, also known as Liam Óg Ó Floinn, was born  September 15, 1945 in Kill, County Kildare, Ireland

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Daily Roots with Evan Jones

March 25, 2018

Four & Twenty Dreadlocks

3-25-18

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onne3mJKEBM

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The Cosmos with NGC 602

March 24, 2018

Near the outskirts of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy some 200 thousand light-years distant, lies 5 million year young star cluster NGC 602. Surrounded by natal gas and dust, NGC 602 is featured in this stunning Hubble image of the region, augmented by images in the X-ray by Chandra, and in the infrared by Spitzer. Fantastic ridges and swept back shapes strongly suggest that energetic radiation and shock waves from NGC 602’s massive young stars have eroded the dusty material and triggered a progression of star formation moving away from the cluster’s center. At the estimated distance of the Small Magellanic Cloud, the Picture spans about 200 light-years, but a tantalizing assortment of background galaxies are also visible in this sharp multi-colored view. The background galaxies are hundreds of millions of light-years or more beyond NGC 602.

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Paul McCandless Day

March 24, 2018

Paul Brownlee McCandless Jr. (born March 24, 1947, Indiana, Pennsylvania) is an American multi-instrumentalist and founding member of the American jazz group Oregon. He is one of few expert jazz oboists. He also plays bass clarinet, English horn, and soprano saxophone.

Paul Brownlee McCandless Jr. was born into a musical family. His father taught him clarinet, his mother piano, and he attended the Manhattan School of Music. In 1971 he auditioned with the New York Philharmonic playing English horn and was a finalist.

McCandless has released a series of records of his own compositions with bands he led, including All the Mornings Bring (Elektra/Asylum, 1978), Heresay (Windham Hill, 1988), Navigator (Landslide, 1981), and Premonition (Windham Hill, 1992). With Oregon, he has recorded 28 albums and CDs, in addition to 7 records and CDs with Paul Winter.

In 1996, McCandless won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. He also won Grammys in 2007 and 2011 with the Paul Winter Consort, for Best New Age Album, and in 1993 for Al Jarreau‘s album Heaven and Earth. His performance on Oregon’s album 1000 Kilometers was nominated for a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo in 2009. He won the Down Beat Critics’ Poll for Best Established Combo, the Deutscher Schallplatten Preis for his albums Ectopia, and the Arbeitskreis Jazz im Bundesverband der Phonographishen Wirtschaft Gold Record Award.

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Lee Oskar Day

March 24, 2018

Lee Oskar (born 24 March 1948, Copenhagen, Denmark) is a Danish harmonica player, notable for his contributions to the sound of the rock-funk fusion group War, which he formed with Eric Burdon, his solo work, and as a harmonica manufacturer. He currently plays with 3 other original WAR band members, Harold Brown, Howard Scott and B.B. Dickerson, under the name LowRider Band.

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Steve Kuhn Day

March 24, 2018

Steve Kuhn (born March 24, 1938) is an American jazz pianist and composer.

Kuhn was born on March 24, 1938, in Brooklyn, New York City. He began studying piano at the age of five and studied under Boston piano teacher Margaret Chaloff, mother of jazz baritone saxophonist Serge Chaloff, who taught him the “Russian style” of piano playing. At an early age he began improvising classical music. As a teenager he appeared in jazz clubs in the Boston area with Coleman Hawkins, Vic Dickenson, Chet Baker, and Serge Chaloff.

After graduating from Harvard, he attended the Lenox School of Music where he was associated with Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, and Gary McFarland. The school’s faculty included Bill Evans, George Russell, Gunther Schuller, and the members of the Modern Jazz Quartet. This allowed Kuhn to play, study, and create with some of the most forward-thinking innovators of jazz improvisation and composition; it culminated with his joining trumpeter Kenny Dorham‘s group for an extended time and (briefly) John Coltrane‘s quartet at New York’s Jazz Gallery club.

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Boogie Bill Webb Day

March 24, 2018

Boogie Bill Webb (March 24, 1924 – August 22, 1990) was an American Louisiana blues and rhythm-and-blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. His music combined Mississippi country blues with New Orleans R&B.[1] His best-known recordings are “Bad Dog” and “Drinkin’ and Stinkin'”. Despite a lengthy (albeit intermittent) career, Webb released only one album.

Webb was born in Jackson, Mississippi. His got his first guitar at the age of eight, made from a cigar box and strung with screen wire. His greatest influence was Tommy Johnson. With a real guitar obtained when he was a teenager, he won a talent show in 1947. He subsequently appeared briefly in the musical film The Jackson Jive. He moved to New Orleans in 1952.

In New Orleans Webb became friends with Fats Domino and was thus introduced to Dave Bartholomew and obtained a recording contract with Imperial Records, for which Domino and Bartholomew recorded. In 1953 Webb released his debut single, “Bad Dog,” a noncommercial slice of country boogie-woogie. Frustrated by lack of recognition, Webb relocated to Chicago, where he worked in factories. There he met and played with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, and Chuck Berry.

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World Music with Henri Dikongue

March 24, 2018

Henri Dikongue was born December 6, 1967 in Duala, Cameroon. Henri Dikongué grew up as part of a family of musicians. He was raised in the capital city, Yaunde, where he learned acoustic guitar from his uncle. His grandmother brought him to a Protestant choir where he first learned to sing. Like all young people in Cameroon, Dikongué was surrounded by the vibrant sound of makossa, a bubbling dance rhythm that blends guitar lines with unstoppable percussion.

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Daily Roots with Junior Byles

March 24, 2018

Can You Feel It (Sufferation Everyday)(Extended Mix)

3-24-18

 

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Mt Zion Shabbat Service 3-23-18

March 23, 2018

Performing for

Mt Zion Shabbat Service with Mayor Frey

Friday 3-23-18

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The Cosmos with Sharpless 249

March 23, 2018

Normally faint and elusive, the Jellyfish Nebula is caught in this alluring telescopic mosaic. The scene is anchored below by bright star Eta Geminorum, at the foot of the celestial twin, while the Jellyfish Nebula is the brighter arcing ridge of emission with tentacles dangling below and left of center. In fact, the cosmic jellyfish is part of bubble-shaped supernova remnant IC 443, the expanding debris cloud from a massive star that exploded. Light from the explosion first reached planet Earth over 30,000 years ago. Like its cousin in astrophysical waters the Crab Nebula supernova remnant, the Jellyfish Nebula is known to harbor a neutron star, the remnant of the collapsed stellar core. An emission nebula cataloged as Sharpless 249 fills the field at the upper right. The Jellyfish Nebula is about 5,000 light-years away. At that distance, this narrowband composite image presented in the Hubble Palette would be about 300 light-years across.

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Chaka Khan Day

March 23, 2018

Chaka Khan (born Yvette Marie Stevens, March 23, 1953) is an American recording artist whose career has spanned five decades, beginning in the 1970s as the lead vocalist and focal point of the funk band Rufus. Known as the Queen of Funk, Khan was the first R&B artist to have a crossover hit featuring a rapper, with “I Feel for You” in 1984. Khan has won ten Grammys and has sold an estimated 70 million records worldwide.

In the course of her solo career, Khan has achieved three gold singles, three gold albums and one platinum album with I Feel for You. With Rufus, she achieved four gold singles, four gold albums, and two platinum albums. She has collaborated with Ry Cooder, Robert Palmer, Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Guru, and Mary J. Blige, among others. In December 2016, Billboard magazine ranked her as the 65th most successful dance artist of all time. She was ranked at number 17 in VH1‘s original list of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll. She has been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice; she was first nominated as member of Rufus in 2011.

Chaka Khan was born Yvette Marie Stevens on March 23, 1953 into an artistic, bohemian household in Chicago, Illinois. The eldest of five children born to Charles Stevens and Sandra Coleman, she has described her father as a beatnik and her mother as “able to do anything.” She was raised in the Hyde Park area, “an island in the middle of the madness” of Chicago’s rough South Side housing projects.[6] Her sister Yvonne later became a successful musician in her own right under the name Taka Boom. Her only brother, Mark, who formed the funk group Aurra, also became a successful musician. She has two other sisters, Zaheva Stevens and Tammy McCrary.

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Dave Pike Day

March 23, 2018

David Samuel Pike (March 23, 1938 – October 3, 2015) was a jazz vibraphone and marimba player. He appears on many albums by Nick Brignola, Paul Bley and Kenny Clarke, Bill Evans, and Herbie Mann. He also recorded extensively as leader, including a number of albums on MPS Records.

He learned drums at the age of eight and was self-taught on vibes. Pike made his recording debut with the Paul Bley Quartet in 1958. He began putting an amplifier on his vibes when working with flautist Herbie Mann in the early 1960s. By the late 1960s, Pike’s music became more exploratory, contributing a unique voice and new contexts that pushed the envelope in times remembered for their exploratory nature. Doors of Perception, released in 1970 for the Atlantic Records subsidiary Vortex Records and produced by former boss Herbie Mann, explored ballads, modal territory, musique concrète, with free and lyrical improvisation, and included musicians like alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, bassist Chuck Israelsand pianist Don Friedman.

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Louisiana Red Day

March 23, 2018

Iverson Minter (March 23, 1932 – February 25, 2012), known as Louisiana Red, was an African-American blues guitarist, harmonica player, and singer, who recorded more than 50 albums. He was best known for his song “Sweet Blood Call“.

Born in Bessemer, Alabama,[3] Minter lost his parents early in life; his mother died of pneumonia shortly after his birth, and his father was lynched by the Ku Klux Klan in 1937. He was brought up by a series of relatives in various towns and cities. Red recorded for Chess in 1949, before joining the Army. He was trained as a parachutist with the 82nd Airborne and was sent to Korea in 1951. The 82nd Airborne was not deployed as a complete unit in Korea, but soldiers from this unit were dispatched as Rangers in the 2nd, 3rd and 7th Infantry Divisions. Minter said he was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division.

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Sticks McGhee Day

March 23, 2018

Granville Henry “Sticks” McGhee (March 23, 1918 – August 15, 1961) was an African-American jump blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, best known for his blues song “Drinkin’ Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee”, which he wrote with J. Mayo Williams

McGhee was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee. He received his nickname when he was a child. He used a stick to push a wagon carrying his older brother Brownie McGhee, who had contracted polio. Granville began playing the guitar when he was thirteen years old. After his freshman year he dropped out of high school and worked with his father at the Eastman Kodak subsidiary, Tennessee Eastman Company in Kingsport. In 1940 Granville quit his job and moved to Portsmouth, Virginia, and then to New York City. He entered the military in 1942 and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. After being discharged in 1946, he settled in New York.

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Interviews