Shiny NGC 253 is one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible, and also one of the dustiest. Some call it the Silver Dollar Galaxy for its appearance in small telescopes, or just the Sculptor Galaxy for its location within the boundaries of the southern constellation Sculptor. Discovered in 1783 by mathematician and astronomer Caroline Herschel, the dusty island universe lies a mere 10 million light-years away. About 70 thousand light-years across, NGC 253 is the largest member of the Sculptor Group of Galaxies, the nearest to our own Local Group of Galaxies. In addition to its spiral dust lanes, tendrils of dust seem to be rising from a galactic disk laced with young star clusters and star forming regions in this sharp color image. The high dust content accompanies frantic star formation, earning NGC 253 the designation of a starburst galaxy. NGC 253 is also known to be a strong source of high-energy x-rays and gamma rays, likely due to massive black holes near the galaxy’s center. Take a trip through extragalactic space in this short video flyby of NGC 253.
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George Benson (born March 22, 1943) is an American musician, guitarist, and singer-songwriter. He began his professional career at 21 as a jazzguitarist. Benson uses a rest-stroke picking technique similar to that of gypsy jazz players such as Django Reinhardt.
A former child prodigy, Benson first came to prominence in the 1960s, playing soul jazz with Jack McDuff and others. He then launched a successful solo career, alternating between jazz, pop, R&B singing, and scat singing. His album Breezin’ was certified triple-platinum, hitting no. 1 on the Billboardalbum chart in 1976. His concerts were well attended through the 1980s, and he still has a large following. Benson has been honored with a staron the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Benson was born and raised in the Hill District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the age of seven, he first played the ukulele in a corner drug store, for which he was paid a few dollars. At the age of eight, he played guitar in an unlicensed nightclub on Friday and Saturday nights, but the police soon closed the club down. At the age of 9, he started to record. Out of the four sides he cut, two were released: “She Makes Me Mad” backed with “It Should Have Been Me”, with RCA-Victor in New York; although one source indicates this record was released under the name “Little Georgie”,while the 45rpm label is printed with the name George Benson.The single was produced by Leroy Kirkland for RCA’s rhythm and blues label, Groove Records. As he has stated in an interview, Benson’s introduction to showbusiness had an effect on his schooling. When this was discovered (tied with the failure of his single) his guitar was impounded. Luckily, after he spent time in a juvenile detention centre his stepfather made him a new guitar.*see full post...
Jon Hassell (born March 22, 1937) is an American trumpet player and composer. He is known for developing the musical concept known as “Fourth World,” which sees him unify ideas from minimalism, various world music sources, and his electronic manipulation of the trumpet. He has collaborated with artists such as Brian Eno, the Theatre of Eternal Music, Talking Heads, Farafina, Peter Gabriel, Ani DiFranco, and Ry Cooder.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, United States, Hassell received his master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. During this time he became involved in European serial music, especially the work of Karlheinz Stockhausen, and so after finishing his studies at Eastman, he enrolled in the Cologne Course for New Music (founded and directed by Stockhausen) for two years. Hassell returned to the U.S. in 1967, where he met Terry Riley in Buffalo, New York and performed on the first recording of Riley’s seminal work In C in 1968. He pursued his Ph.D.in musicology in Buffalo and performed in La Monte Young‘s “Dream House” (a.k.a. Theatre of Eternal Music) in New York City.see full post...
Fred Anderson (March 22, 1929 – June 24, 2010) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist who was based in Chicago, Illinois. Anderson’s playing was rooted in the swing music and hard bop idioms, but he also incorporated innovations from free jazz, rendering him, as critics Ron Wynn and Joslyn Layne have written, “a seminal figure among Chicago musicians in the ’60s.”
Anderson was born Monroe, Louisiana. He grew up in the Southern United States and learned to play the saxophone by himself when he was a teenager. Anderson moved his family to Evanston, Illinois in the 1940s. He studied music formally at the Roy Knapp Conservatory in Chicago, and had a private teacher for a short time. Fred worked installing carpet for decades to sustain his music and his family, before opening up a succession of important Chicago nightclubs. Despite Anderson’s prominence as an avant-garde musician, his guiding inspiration was Charlie Parker, portraits of whom are prominently displayed at Anderson’s club, the Velvet Lounge.
He was one of the founders of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and an important member of the musical collective. In the early 1960s Anderson formed his own group, playing his original compositions, with Vernon Thomas on drums, Bill Fletcher on bass, and his partner for many years, the Chicago jazz trumpeter Billy Brimfield.see full post...
All of these supernovae peak at the same brightness and are brilliant enough to be seen over relatively longer distances.
NGC 3972 also contains many pulsating stars called Cepheid variables.
These stars change their brightness at a rate matched closely to their intrinsic luminosity, making them ideal cosmic lighthouses for measuring accurate distances to relatively nearby galaxies.
Astronomers search for Cepheid variables in nearby galaxies which also contain a Type Ia supernova so they can compare the true brightness of both types of stars.
That brightness information is used to calibrate the luminosity of Type Ia supernovae in far-flung galaxies so that they can calculate the galaxies’ distances from Earth.
Once astronomers know accurate distances to galaxies near and far, they can determine and refine the expansion rate of the Universe.see full post...
Yoshio Suzuki (Bassist, Composer/Arranger)
March 21, 1946
Born in Kiso-Fukushima, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.
Mr. Suzuki grew up in a musical family where his father was a violin craftsman, his mother a piano teacher, and his uncle, the founder of the world renowned “Suzuki Method”. He learnt piano and violin as a child and also played guitar during high school. He played piano in the Waseda University Modern Jazz ensemble.
Upon graduation, Mr. Suzuki started his professional career as a pianist. Soon he started studying under Japanese jazz icon, Sadao Watanabe. Around this time, Mr. Watanabe advised him to pursue bass as his main instrument.
From 1969 ~ ’73 he was the bass chair for Sadao Watanabe group and Masabumi Kikuchi group.
In October 1973, he moved to New York and started his career in America.
In 1974 he worked for Stan Getz as his regular bassist. Furthermore, he was the bassist for the legendary group “Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers” from 1975 ~ ’76.
From 1976 ~ ’80, Mr. Suzuki worked mainly with Bill Hardman&Junior Cook band. He also led his own group in New York City featuring David Liebman on saxophone. During this period, he also worked with Sonny Rollins, Lee Konitz, and Chet Baker. Simultaneously, he studied classical composition. By blending his jazz, classical and Japanese influences, he created a unique composing style and a musical voice.
Mr. Suzuki returned to Japan in 1985 and formed his own group MATSURI.
In 1992, he signed a contract with Video Arts Music and released an all -original composition featured album “THE MOMENT”(recorded in NY) from the ONE VOICE label. His proceeding releases also feature all original compositions of his own.
In 1993 He formed his own group EAST BOUNCE featuring Souichi Noriki (p, key), Masahiro Fujioka (sax) and Cecil Monroe (ds).see full post...
Solomon Burke (born James Solomon McDonald, March 21, 1940 – October 10, 2010 Philadelphia,PA) was an American preacher and singer who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues as one of the founding fathers of soul music in the 1960s. He has been called a “a key transitional figure bridging R&B and soul”, and was known for his “prodigious output”.
He had a string of hits including “Cry to Me“, “If You Need Me“, “Got to Get You Off My Mind“, “Down in the Valley” and “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love“. Burke was referred to as “King Solomon”, the “King of Rock ‘n’ Soul”, “Bishop of Soul” and the “Muhammad Ali of soul”. Due to his minimal chart success in comparison to other soul music greats such as James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, Burke has been described as the genre’s “most unfairly overlooked singer” of its golden age. Atlantic Records executive Jerry Wexler once referred to Burke as “the greatest male soul singer of all time”see full post...
After years of hostility to secular music, as a preacher and for a few years also as a church pastor, he turned to blues performance at the age of 25. He quickly developed a unique style by applying the rhythmic drive, vocal power and emotional intensity of his preaching to the newly learned idiom. In a short career interrupted by a spell in Parchman Farm penitentiary, he developed to the point that Charley Patton, the foremost blues artist of the Mississippi Delta region, invited him to share engagements and to accompany him to a 1930 recording session for Paramount Records.
Issued at the start of the Great Depression, the records did not sell and did not lead to national recognition. Locally, House remained popular, and in the 1930s, together with Patton’s associate Willie Brown, he was the leading musician of Coahoma County. There he was a formative influence on Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. In 1941 and 1942, House and the members of his band were recorded by Alan Lomax and John W. Work for the Library of Congress and Fisk University. The following year, he left the Delta for Rochester, New York, and gave up music.
In 1964, a group of young record collectors discovered House, whom they knew of from his records issued by Paramount and by the Library of Congress. With their encouragement, he relearned his repertoire and established a career as an entertainer, performing for young, mostly white audiences in coffeehouses, at folk festivals and on concert tours during the American folk music revival, billed as a “folk blues” singer. He recorded several albums, and some informally taped concerts have also been issued as albums. House died in 1988.
In addition to his early influence on Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, he was an inspiration to John Hammond, Alan Wilson (of Canned Heat), Bonnie Raitt, the White Stripes, Dallas Green and John Mooney.see full post...
The new image shows a part of a bigger complex called the Orion Molecular Cloud located about 1,350 light-years away. This region is a rich melting pot of bright nebulae, hot young stars and cold dust clouds.
The submillimeter-wavelength glow arising from the cold dust clouds is seen in orange in this image and is overlaid on a view of the region taken in the more familiar visible light.
The large bright cloud in the upper right of the image is the well-known Orion Nebula, also known as Messier 42.
The Orion Nebula is the brightest part of a huge stellar nursery where new stars are being born, and is the closest site of massive star formation to Earth.
The dust clouds form beautiful filaments, sheets, and bubbles as a result of processes including gravitational collapse and the effects of stellar winds. These winds are streams of gas ejected from the atmospheres of stars, which are powerful enough to shape the surrounding clouds into the convoluted forms seen here.
The astronomers have used these and other data to search the region of Orion for protostars – an early stage of star formation.
They have so far been able to identify 15 objects that appeared much brighter at longer wavelengths than at shorter wavelengths.
These newly discovered rare objects, described in a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal (ESO’s version), are probably among the youngest protostars ever found, bringing astronomers closer to witnessing the moment when a star begins to form.
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Harold Mabern, Jr. (born March 20, 1936) is an American jazz pianist and composer, principally in the hard bop, post-bop, and soul jazz fields. He is described in The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings as “one of the great post-bop pianists”.
Mabern was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He initially started learning drums before switching to learning piano. He had access to a piano from his teens, after his father, who worked in a lumber yard, saved to buy him one. Mabern learned by watching and emulating pianists Charles Thomas and Phineas Newborn, Jr. Mabern attended Douglass High School, before transferring to Manassas High School; he played with Frank Strozier, George Coleman and Booker Little at this time, but was most influenced by Newborn, Jr. In 1954, after graduating, Mabern moved to Chicago, intending to attend the American Conservatory of Music. He was unable to afford to attend music college because of a change in his parents’ financial circumstances, but had private lessons there for six months and developed his reading ability by playing with trombonist Morris Ellis’ big band. He also developed by listening to Ahmad Jamal and others in clubs, and “playing and practicing 12 hours a day” for the next five years, but he remained self-taught as a pianist. Mabern went on to play with Walter Perkins‘ MJT + 3 and others in Chicago.see full post...
Margaret Marian McPartland, OBE (née Turner; 20 March 1918 – 20 August 2013), was an English-American jazz pianist, composer and writer. She was the host of Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz on National Public Radio from 1978 to 2011.
After her marriage to trumpeter Jimmy McPartland in February 1945, she resided in the United States when not travelling throughout the world to perform. In 1969 she founded Halcyon Records, a recording company that produced albums for 10 years. In 2000 she was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. In 2004 she was given a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement. In 2007 she was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Although known mostly for jazz, she composed other types of music as well, performing her own symphonic work A Portrait of Rachel Carson with the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra in 2007. In 2010 she was named a member of the Order of the British Empire.
Margaret Marian Turner was born on 20 March 1918 to Frank and Janet (née Payne) Turner. She had one younger sibling, a sister, Joyce. She demonstrated early aptitude at the piano, and would later realize that she had perfect pitch. Margaret (Maggie to her family) studied violin from the age of nine, but never took to the instrument. She also trained as a vocalist and received a number of favorable reviews in the local paper. Janet refused to find her daughter a piano teacher until the age of 16, by which time Margaret was already adept at learning songs by ear. This lack of early education meant that Marian was never a strong reader of notated music, and would always prefer to learn through listening.see full post...