News From Barack’s Blog: A LOT Of Information


By Jueseppi B.






President Obama Participates in Fireside Hangouts on Google+


Kori Schulman
By  Kori Schulman  February 13, 2013


On Thursday, February 14th at 4:50 p.m. EST, President Obama will sit down with Americans from all across the country for a “Fireside Hangout” – our 21st century take on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats. The President will join a live, completely virtual interview from nowhere other than the Roosevelt Room in the White House’s West Wing.


This online event comes just days after the State of the Union address, where the President laid out his plan to create jobs and strengthen the middle class. During the hangout, which is hosted and moderated by Google, the President will connect with people who are active online to discuss the policies and proposals in the speech.


Do you have a question that you’d like President Obama to answer? Right now, you can submit a text or video question for the President, and also vote on your favorites. Then, be sure to tune in for the hangout live on Thursday, February 14th at 4:50 p.m. EST. Watch it live on the White House YouTube Channel,Google+ page and at


Thursday’s event with the President is the latest in a series of Fireside Hangouts and White House engagement programs on Google+. Last month, Vice President Biden kicked off the series with a virtual conversation about reducing gun violence. And after President Obama presented his plan to fix our broken immigration system, Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Counciljoined a Fireside Hangout on the issue.


The White House uses Google+, and other social media networks and online tools, to directly connect President Obama and his Administration directly with the American people. Since our inaugural White House hangout with President Obama after the State of the Union in January 2012, the White House has hosted hangouts about everything from healthy families to small business and mortgage refinancing to human trafficking.


More than 1.4 million people have followed the White House since we joined Google+ a little over a year ago — and we’ve invited those followers to join hangouts with senior staff and Cabinet members and come to the White House for special events, like our State of the Union Social and a Google+ photowalkFollow us on Google+ to stay connected to the White House and get the latest updates on how you can engage. You can also check out the White House on Twitter,Facebook and Pinterest. Learn more about all the ways you can engage with the White House at





Obama Administration Launches College Scorecard


Secretary Arne Duncan
By  Secretary Arne Duncan  February 13, 2013


Editor’s note: This post was originally published on the official blog of the U.S. Department of Education.


“… My administration will release a new “College Scorecard” that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria — where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.” – President Obama, 2013 State of the Union


The interactive College Scorecard gives students and families five key pieces of data about a college: costs, graduation rate, loan default rate, average amount borrowed, and employment.







Too often, students and their families don’t have the right tools to help them sort through the information they need to decide which college or university is right for them. The search can be overwhelming, and the information from different colleges can be hard to compare.


That’s why, today, our Administration released a “College Scorecard” that empowers families to make smart investments in higher education. As the President said last night, we want to help families get the most bang for their educational buck.


The College Scorecard – as part of President Obama’s continued efforts to hold colleges accountable for cost, value and quality – highlights key indicators about the cost and value of institutions across the country to help students choose a school that is well-suited to meet their needs, priced affordably, and is consistent with their educational and career goals.


The tool is interactive, so students can choose among any number of options based on their individual needs – including location, size, campus setting, and degree and major programs.


Each Scorecard includes five key pieces of data about a college: costs, graduation rate, loan default rate, average amount borrowed, and employment. These data will be updated periodically, and the Department plans to publish information on average earnings in the coming year.


Get started by visiting





Open for Questions: The State of the Union and Education


Megan Slack
By  Megan Slack  February 13, 2013


Today,  Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, answered questions from the public about President Obama’s State of the Union Address in an “Open for Questions” session moderated by Babble. Check it out below.



Open for Questions: The State of the Union and Education


Published on Feb 13, 2013

In a virtual Q&A live from the White House, Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, answers questions submitted by citizens via Twitter, Google+ and Facebook about the President’s education policies.






Watch President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address and share your Citizen Response.





First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Movie Workshop for Students


Colleen Curtis
By  Colleen Curtis  February 13, 2013



p021313lj-0161First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during a “Beasts of the Southern Wild” movie workshop in the State Dining Room of the White House, Feb. 13, 2013. Participating, from left, are: movie director Benh Zeitlin; actor Dwight Henry; actress Quvenzhané Wallis; and moderator Rachel Goslins, a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. (Official White House Photo by ) (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)



First Lady Michelle Obama today welcomed 80 middle and high school students to an interactive workshop with the cast and crew of the film Beasts of the Southern Wild, in the State Dining Room. The students, who were from Washington, DC and New Orleans, LA, got to talk with director Benh Zeitlin, actor Dwight Henry and the movie’s 9-year-old star, Oscar-nominated actress Quvenzhané Wallis,  who stars as Hushpuppy.


Mrs. Obama described the film as “beautiful, joyful and devastatingly honest,” and praised its underlying message of strength and resilience:

 It’s a movie that makes us all think deeply about the people we love in our lives who make us who we are. It shows us the strength of our communities, no matter what they look like.  It shows us that those communities can give us the power to overcome any kind of obstacles. And it also tells a compelling story of poverty and devastation, but also of hope and love in the midst of some great challenges.


So there are so many important lessons to learn in that little 93 minutes. That’s the other cool thing — that a director and a set of writers and producers can say so much in just 93 minutes.  And it doesn’t always happen in a movie, quite frankly, but this one did it, and that’s why I love this movie so much and why our team wanted to bring it here to the White House and share it with all of you.



You can watch the whole workshop:



Interactive Film Workshop for Students: Beasts of the Southern Wild


Published on Feb 13, 2013

First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes 80 middle and high school students from the DC area and New Orleans to take part in an interactive student workshop with the cast and crew of the film Beasts of the Southern Wild.







Open for Questions: The State of the Union and the Economy


Megan Slack
By  Megan Slack  February 13, 2013


Today, Alan Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, answered questions from the public about President Obama’s State of the Union Address in an “Open for Questions” session moderated by Yahoo! Finance. Check it out below.



Open for Questions: The State of the Union and the Economy


Published on Feb 13, 2013

In a virtual Q&A live from the White House, Alan Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, answers questions submitted by citizens via Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. about the President’s plan to create jobs and strengthen the economy.






Watch President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address and share your Citizen Response.





Improving the Security of the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure


Michael Daniel
By  Michael Daniel  February 13, 2013


The Nation increasingly relies on the Internet to run the systems that light our houses, provide gas for our cars, and ensure our water is safe to drink. Collectively, these diverse systems represent our cyber critical infrastructure. Linking our critical infrastructure to the Internet brings considerable benefits, but our daily reliance on this critical infrastructure means that we are vulnerable to disruptions in our ability to use it. Unfortunately, the threats against our cyber critical infrastructure are numerous, ranging from sophisticated nation states to common criminals.


The government’s senior-most civilian, military, and intelligence professionals all agree that inadequate cyber security within this critical infrastructure poses a grave threat to the security of the United States.  Most recently, we have seen an increased interest in targeting public and private critical infrastructure systems by actors who seek to threaten our national and economic security. Along with dissuading their actions, we must better protect the critical systems that support our way of life.


Because of the importance of our cyber critical infrastructure, and the seriousness of the threats, the President issued an Executive Order yesterday directing federal departments and agencies to use their existing authorities to provide better cyber security for the Nation. These efforts will by necessity involve increased collaboration with the private sector and a whole-of-government approach.


In developing the order, the Administration sought input from stakeholders of all viewpoints in industry, the public sector, the legislative branch, and the advocacy community. Their input has been vital in crafting an order that incorporates the best ideas and lessons learned from industry experience, legislative efforts, and successful federal efforts. Over the course of the past six months, we hosted over 30 organizations, representing all 18 critical infrastructure sectors, and heard from over 200 companies directly. We also met with trade associations representing an additional 6,000 companies, over $7 trillion in annual economic activity, and over 15 million employees to discuss their concerns and ideas for solutions.  As a result of our outreach, numerous stakeholders responded positively to the Executive Order.



The Executive Order: Improving security for our cyber critical infrastructure presents a set of complex issues. The Executive Order addresses the three areas that are necessary to address the problem holistically: information sharing, a flexible risk-based Framework of core practices based on existing standards, and privacy protections. (For more details, see our Fact Sheet on the Executive Order.)



Information Sharing. It is a national priority to efficiently, effectively, and appropriately increase the volume, timeliness, and quality of cyber threat information shared with authorized individuals and companies. One of the primary efforts of the Executive Order is to better enable information sharing on cyber threats between the private sector and all levels of government.  The Executive Order fosters improved public-private sharing in three important ways.

First, it expands the Department of Homeland Security’s Enhanced Cyber security Services program to provide near real-time sharing of information on cyber threats with critical infrastructure companies and state and local governments.

Second, it directs federal agencies to provide timely notification to companies if we have information indicating that a company is the target or victim of a cyber intrusion. Finally, the Executive Order directs DHS to expedite the processing of clearances for appropriate state and local government and private sector personnel to enable the federal government to efficiently share cyber threat information at the sensitive and classified level.



Cybersecurity Framework: The Executive Order directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to lead the development of a framework to reduce cyber risks to critical infrastructure. NIST will work with industry to identify existing voluntary consensus standards and industry best practices to incorporate into the framework.


The Administration recognizes that there are private-sector cyber leaders in our critical infrastructure sectors who are already implementing strong cyber security controls, policies, and procedures. Rather than burdening such organizations with more to do, the Executive Order puts these innovators at the core of informing and driving the development of voluntary best practices for the framework.  In this way, we can distill common cyber security practices from the experts that know them best and leverage them to improve the security of the Nation’s critical infrastructure.


The framework does not dictate “one-size fits all” technological solutions. Instead, it promotes a collaborative approach to encourage innovation and recognize the differing needs among critical infrastructure sectors. Organizations who want to upgrade their cyber security will have the flexibility to decide how best to do so using a wide range of innovative products and services available in the marketplace.




Privacy and Civil Liberties Protections: The Executive Order reflects the Administration’s deep commitment to ensuring that processes for sharing cyber threat and incident information between the federal government, state, and local government, and private companies incorporates rigorous protections for individual privacy and civil liberties. Accordingly, the Executive Order directs departments and agencies to incorporate privacy and civil liberties protections into cyber security activities based upon widely-accepted Fair Information Practice Principles, and other applicable privacy and civil liberties frameworks and polices. The Executive Order also requires regular privacy assessments and public reporting of any privacy and civil liberties impacts.



More Action is Needed: This Executive Order represents an important step in improving cybersecurity protections for our critical infrastructure, and reflects recommendations from many different groups, including the bi-partisan Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency and the Recommendations of the House Republican Cyber security Task Force.  However, more is needed.  Executive action alone cannot create the new tools and authorities needed to meet the Nation’s collective cyber security challenges. The Administration continues to urge Congress to pass legislation to more fully address our Nation’s cyber security needs.


For decades, industry and all levels of government have worked together to protect the physical security of critical assets that reside in private hands – from airports and seaports to national broadcast systems and nuclear power plants. Similarly, we must now work in partnership to protect the cyber critical infrastructure systems upon which so much of our economic well-being, national security, and daily lives depend.


As we have made clear, industry has a significant role to play as well. As a first step, I would urge Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) to ask their team these five questions and ensure that they are satisfied with the answers. Additionally, I ask that industry, academia, the advocacy community, and all who are interested, participate in the NIST process to develop the Cyber security Framework. Visit NIST’s website to view NIST’s request for information (RFI) and find out how to participate.



As the President’s Cyber security Coordinator, I look forward to engaging all stakeholders in this important national mission.


Michael Daniel is Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator.





Remarks by the President on Manufacturing — Asheville, NC



President Obama Speaks on the Economy


Published on Feb 13, 2013

President Obama highlights the manufacturing policies unveiled last night in the State of the Union Address.






The White House

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release
February 13, 2013

Remarks by the President on Manufacturing — Asheville, NC


Linamar Corporation
Asheville, North Carolina


12:10 P.M. EST


THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  Hello, North Carolina!  (Applause.)  It is good to be back.  I love coming to Asheville.  (Applause.)  Love coming to Asheville.  Michelle and I always talk about how after this whole presidency thing, we’re looking for a little spot to — (applause) –


AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Come on down.


THE PRESIDENT:  Come on down?  (Applause.)  Play a little golf, do a little hiking, fishing, barbecue.  There are two things that keep bringing me back here.  Number one is I really like the people.  And number two is 12 Bones, which I will be stopping on the way back to the airport.  (Laughter and applause.)


Now, I want to start off by thanking Stratton for the wonderful introduction.  And what made it wonderful was not only did he do a great job, but it was really brief.  (Laughter.)  And I also want to thank Frank and Jim and everybody at Linamar for hosting us and giving me this terrific tour of the plant.


I want to point out two elected officials who are with us here today –- first of all, your Mayor, Terry Bellamy.  (Applause.)  Where is Mayor Bellamy?  There she is.  Good to see you.  Plus, you got a wonderful mayor.  I like that in you, too. And also, Congressman Mel Watt is here.  So give Congressman Watt a big round of applause.  (Applause.)


So last night, I delivered the State of the Union Address.  (Applause.)  And I talked about steps we can take right now to strengthen our recovery, but also to build up our middle class.  And I said that while we’re seeing some signs of solid progress — car sales are up, housing is starting to recover — we’re still a ways away from where we need to be.  There are still too many Americans who are out there every day.  They’re pounding the pavement.  They’re looking for work.  You guys probably know friends or family members who are still pretty strapped, having a difficult time.  And while it’s true that corporate profits have rocketed to an all-time high, it’s also true that for more than a decade now, wages and incomes haven’t gone up at all just about.

So we’ve got a lot of work to do.  And our job — and this is a job for everybody; it’s not a Democratic thing or a Republican thing.  Our job as Americans is to restore that basic bargain that says if you work hard, if you’re willing to meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead.  You can get ahead.  (Applause.)  It doesn’t matter what you look like.  It doesn’t matter where you come from.  That’s what we should be focused on: How do we make sure that people who are willing to work hard can make a decent living and look after their family?


Because the true engine of America’s economic growth has always been our middle class.  Now, there are a lot of countries that have folks at the top who are doing real well, and a bunch of folks at the bottom, but part of what set America apart was ordinary folks, if they worked hard, they could do well.  Our middle class when it’s growing, when it’s thriving, when there are ladders of opportunity for people to do a little bit better each year and then make sure that their kids are doing even better than them — that’s the American Dream.  That’s what we got to fight for.  That has to be the North Star that guides everything we do.


And as I said last night, we should be asking ourselves three questions every single day.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re in North Carolina or Texas or California or Oregon.  It doesn’t matter.  Wherever we are, three things we should be asking.  Number one — how do we bring more jobs to America?  Number two — how do we equip people with the skills they need to do those jobs?  And number three — how do we make sure that once they have a job, it leads to a decent living?


I believe we reward effort and determination with wages that allow working families to raise their kids and get ahead.  (Applause.)  And that’s part of the reason why I said last night that it’s time for an increase in the minimum wage, because if you work full-time, you shouldn’t be in poverty.  (Applause.)


I also believe we provide our people skills and training by investing in education, and that has to start early.  It has to start early.  So I talked about making sure that kids are getting an early childhood education, making sure that our high schools are preparing our children for a high-tech economy, and making sure that colleges are affordable and accessible to every single American.  (Applause.)


And I believe we attract new jobs to America by investing in new sources of energy and new infrastructure and the next generation of high-wage, high-tech American manufacturing.  I believe in manufacturing.  I think it makes our country stronger.  (Applause.)


So that’s what we can do together.  And that’s why I wanted to come down here to Asheville, because there’s a good story to tell here.  I know that a few years ago, manufacturing comebacks in North Carolina, a manufacturing comeback in Asheville may not have seemed real likely, because Volvo had just left town.  This plant had gone dark — 228 jobs had vanished.  And that was a big blow for this area, because part of what happens is when those manufacturing jobs go away, then suddenly the restaurant has fewer customers, and suppliers for the plant start withering.  And it’s hard for everybody.  It has a ripple effect.


But then local officials started reaching out to companies, offering new incentives to take over this plant.  Some of the workers who got laid off, like Stratton, went back to school and they learned new skills.  And then, a year later, Linamar showed up.  They were looking for a place to build some big parts.  And these parts are big, I got to say — (laughter) — hubs and wheels and anchors for 400-ton mining trucks.  And while they could have gone any place in the world, they saw this incredible potential right here in Asheville.  They saw the most promise in this workforce, so they chose to invest in Asheville, in North Carolina, in the United States of America.  (Applause.)


So to date, Linamar has hired 160 workers.  It will be 200 by the end of the year, and it’s just going to keep on going after that.  (Applause.)  So the folks at Linamar said, they came to Asheville to grow their business.  They came here to stay and put down some roots.


And the good news is what’s happening here is happening all around the country.  Because just as it’s becoming more and more expensive to do business in places like China, America is getting more competitive and more productive.


After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have now added about 500,000 jobs over the past three years.  (Applause.)  And I mentioned this last night — Caterpillar, which I know you guys supply, they’re bringing jobs back from Japan.  Ford is bringing jobs back from Mexico.  After placing plants in other countries like China, Intel is opening its most advanced plant here in the United States.  Apple is starting to make Macs in America again.  (Applause.)


So we’re seeing this trend of what we call in-sourcing  not just outsourcing.  And the reason is because America has got outstanding workers.  We’re starting to produce more homegrown energy, which is driving down our energy costs.  And, obviously, we’ve still got the biggest market in the world.  And if we try to improve our infrastructure a little bit more, then we’re going to be even that much more competitive.


Now, I want to be honest with you.  We’re not going to bring back every job that’s been lost to outsourcing and automation over the last decade.  I was talking to some of the guys who were showing me their facilities who had been in manufacturing for 20 years, and they explained how things had changed.  It used to be you had to — you wanted to do the kind of stuff you guys are doing here — everything was done manually.  Now you’ve got a computer and you’re punching in stuff.  So it’s changed, and that means that you can just produce a lot more with fewer people.


But there are things we can do right now to accelerate the resurgence of American manufacturing.


Number one — we can create more centers for high-tech manufacturing in America.  Last year, my administration created our first manufacturing innovation institute.  We put it in Youngstown, Ohio, which had been really hard-hit when manufacturing started going overseas.  And so you have a once-shuttered warehouse — it’s now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering what’s called 3-D printing, which has the potential to revolutionize the way we make everything.  That’s the future.  And there’s no reason that those same kinds of projects can’t take root in other cities and towns.


So last night, I announced the launch of three more institutes.  And I’m calling on Congress to help us set up 15 institutes –- global centers of high-tech jobs and advanced manufacturing around the country.  (Applause.)


The second thing we need to do is make our tax code more competitive.  Right now, companies get all kinds of tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas, but companies that stay here get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world.  That doesn’t make any sense.  So what I’m proposing is that we reform our tax code, stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, reward companies that are creating jobs right here in the United States of America.  That makes sense.  (Applause.)


Number three — if you’re a manufacturing town, especially one that’s taken a hit — that’s seen a company close up shop or a plant shut down — I want to partner with local leaders to help you attract new investment.  Because once that investment starts coming in, things can start turning around.  And that means infrastructure gets modernized and research facilities get built, and suddenly a community that was knocked down is getting back up, and they’re attracting new manufacturers who want to come and expand and hire.


So I want us to focus on — if a place like — when Asheville lost the Volvo plant, we’ve got to come in here real quick and help them figure out, all right, what is it that we need to attract a new employer.


Number four — we’ve got to help our workers get the training to compete for the industries of tomorrow.  At least a couple of the guys that I had a chance to meet as we were taking the tour told me they were out of work for a year — in one case, two years — in part because we kept unemployment insurance in place so folks could get back on their feet, they were able to go back to school, and now are gainfully employed.  No job in America should go unfilled because somebody doesn’t have the right skills to get that job — nobody.  (Applause.)


So if there is a job open, we should train those folks right away, so that they can do the job.  And that’s why I’m proposing a national goal of training 2 million Americans with skills that will lead directly to a job.  And we know this works.  After Linamar came to town, they started working with AB-Tech, one of the community colleges here in Asheville.  (Applause.)  And AB-Tech and Linamar worked together to do something that is really smart.  Rather than have kids just — or in some cases not kids, older workers — show up and they’re taking a bunch of classes but they don’t know how this is directly going to lead to a job, what you do is you customize the class to train people so they can come and work at the plant and they’re getting experience that’s directly applicable to what’s being done here at the job.  (Applause.)


That’s good for the community.  It’s good for Linamar, because they’re getting workers who they know can do the job.  It’s good for the folks who are going to the community college, because they know if they work hard and they do well in the class there’s a job waiting for them.  It’s good for the economy as a whole.


So those are four common-sense steps that we can take right now to strengthen manufacturing in America.  There’s no magic bullet here.  It’s just some common-sense stuff.  People still have to work hard.  Companies like Linamar still have to make good products.  But the point is, is that if we can just do a few things, then over time what happens is we start rebuilding our manufacturing base in a way that strengthens our economy as a whole.


Now, I’m doing what I can just through administrative action, but I need Congress to help.  I need Congress to do their part.  (Applause.)  I need Congress to take up these initiatives, because we’ve come too far and we’ve worked too hard to turn back now.


And you think about all that this city and all of you have been through over the last few years.  Think about folks like Jeff Brower.  Now, Jeff was in the trucking industry for over a decade.  Two years ago, he got laid off.  He lost his job as a diesel mechanic.  That’s a tough thing to go through, even though Jeff is a pretty tough guy.  But he bounced back.  He decided it was time for him to change careers.  He decided it was time to get some new skills.  He went to AB-Technology, took a class in automated machining.  A few months ago, Jeff got his diploma.  He graduated on a Wednesday, interviewed at this plant on Thursday. By Friday, he was working as a machine operator.  (Applause.)


Where’s Jeff?  There he is, right here.  (Applause.)  Now, obviously, Jeff is pretty good at interviews — (laughter) — because he just got hired like that.  I hope he can give me some advice.  (Laughter.)


But here’s the thing.  The reason Jeff did all that — obviously, a lot of it was to support himself and his family — but it wasn’t just to punch a clock at a new plant or pick up a paycheck from a new company.  It was to make sure he could have a better future for his family and for his community and his country.  Jeff said, “Getting my foot in the door has opened my eyes to bigger horizons.  And I want to keep on going.”  I want to keep on going.  (Applause.)


So that’s our story.  That’s the American story.  We don’t give up.  We get up.  We innovate.  We adapt.  We learn new skills.  We keep going.  And I just want everybody here to know at this plant, but everybody in Asheville, everybody in North Carolina and everybody all across the country — I want you to know as long as you’re out here fighting every day to better your lives and to better the lives of your children, then I’ll be back in Washington fighting for you.  (Applause.)  I will be back there fighting for you — because there’s nothing we can’t do and no possibilities we can’t reach when we’re working together.  We just have to work together.


And we’ve got to stop with some of the politics that we see in Washington, sometimes that’s focused on who’s up and who’s down.  Let’s just focus on the same kind of common sense and cooperation that we’re seeing at this plant and we see all across the country.


So thank you, everybody.  God bless you.  God bless America.  Thank you.


12:30 P.M. EST




Statements and Releases



February 13, 2013

Message — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Libya




February 13, 2013

Notice — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Libya




February 13, 2013

Statement by the President on Ash Wednesday




February 13, 2013

Fact Sheet: The President’s Plan to Reward Work by Raising the Minimum Wage




February 13, 2013

Statement from United States President Barack Obama, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso




February 13, 2013

Fact Sheet: The President’s Plan to Make America a Magnet for Jobs by Investing in Manufacturing







This image provided by Vogue shows former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., left, with her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, during a photo shoot at their home in Tucson, Ariz. The image and accompanying article by John Powers will be published in the March 2013 issue of Vogue. From




Today has been exactly 62 days since December 14th, 2012. Sandy Hook Elementary School. Newtown, Connecticut.
























Photography Potpourri


By Jueseppi B.















16a_p021213ps-1730Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton & Nathaniel A. Pendleton Sr. ~ “Our Daughter Deserves A Vote”




03a_p021213ps-0988The President Of The United States Of America, Barack Hussein Obama…..bout to throw it down Barack style at The State Of The Union, February 12th, Twenty Twelve.



01a_p021213ps-0803With the First Lady, Michelle LaVaughn Obama, looking on, POTUS Barack Hussein Obama signs copies of his State Of The Union speech.



ted-nugent-16x9The washed up, drugged out, poopy pants voice & face of The TeaTardedRepubliCANT Pseudo-Freudian Psycho-Sexual Secret-Whore Pro-caucasian Pro-Racist Anti-LGBT Anti-Feminist Reich Wing GOPretender Conselfishservative NRAsshole-Gun Loving Nut Bag racist white supremacist caucasian Party. This is the representative of GOPretenders American values.
























US President Barack Obama wears a Chicag




































Black History Moment: Miles Dewey Davis III


By Jueseppi B.






Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991) was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebopcool jazzhard bopmodal jazz, and jazz fusion.


On October 7, 2008, his 1959 album Kind of Blue received its fourth platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of at least four million copies in the United States. Miles Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Davis was noted as “one of the key figures in the history of jazz”. On December 15, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a symbolic resolution recognizing and commemorating the album Kind of Blue on its 50th anniversary, “honoring the masterpiece and reaffirming jazz as a national treasure.”



Background information
Birth name Miles Dewey Davis III
Born May 26, 1926
Alton, Illinois, United States
Died September 28, 1991 (aged 65)
Santa Monica, CaliforniaUnited States
Genres Jazzhard bopbebopcool jazzmodal,

fusionthird streamjazz-funkjazz rap

Occupations Bandleader, composer, trumpeter, artist
Instruments Trumpet, flugelhorn, piano,organ
Years active 1944–1975, 1980–1991
Labels Capitol Jazz/EMI,Columbia/CBS,

Warner Bros.Dial Records

Associated acts Billy EckstineCharlie Parker,

Miles Davis QuintetGil Evans





Early life (1926–44)

Miles Dewey Davis was born on May 26, 1926, to an affluent African American family in Alton, Illinois. His father, Miles Henry Davis, was a dentist. In 1927 the family moved to East St. Louis, Illinois. They also owned a substantial ranch in northern Arkansas, where Davis learned to ride horses as a boy.


Davis’ mother, Cleota Mae (Henry) Davis, wanted her son to learn the piano; she was a capable blues pianist but kept this fact hidden from her son. His musical studies began at 13, when his father gave him a trumpet and arranged lessons with local musician Elwood Buchanan. Davis later suggested that his father’s instrument choice was made largely to irk his wife, who disliked the trumpet’s sound. Against the fashion of the time, Buchanan stressed the importance of playing without vibrato; he was reported to have slapped Davis’ knuckles every time he started using heavy vibrato. Davis would carry his clear signature tone throughout his career. He once remarked on its importance to him, saying, “I prefer a round sound with no attitude in it, like a round voice with not too much tremolo and not too much bass. Just right in the middle. If I can’t get that sound I can’t play anything.” Clark Terry was another important early influence.


By age 16, Davis was a member of the music society and playing professionally when not at school. At 17, he spent a year playing in Eddie Randle’s band, the Blue Devils. During this time, Sonny Stitt tried to persuade him to join the Tiny Bradshaw band, then passing through town, but Davis’ mother insisted that he finish his final year of high school. He graduated from East St. Louis Lincoln High School in 1944.


In 1944, the Billy Eckstine band visited East St. Louis. Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker were members of the band, and Davis was brought in on third trumpet for a couple of weeks because the regular player, Buddy Anderson, was out sick. Even after this experience, once Eckstine’s band left town, Davis’ parents were still keen for him to continue formal academic studies.



New York and the bebop years begin (1944–48)

In the fall of 1944, following graduation from high school, Davis moved to New York City to study at the Juilliard School of Music.


Upon arriving in New York, he spent most of his first weeks in town trying to get in contact with Charlie Parker, despite being advised against doing so by several people he met during his quest, including saxophonist Coleman Hawkins. Finally locating his idol, Davis became one of the cadre of musicians who held nightly jam sessions at two of Harlem‘s nightclubs, Minton’s Playhouse and Monroe’s. The group included many of the future leaders of the bebop revolution: young players such as Fats NavarroFreddie Webster, and J. J. Johnson. Established musicians including Thelonious Monk and Kenny Clarke were also regular participants.


Davis dropped out of Juilliard after asking permission from his father. In his autobiography, Davis criticized the Juilliard classes for centering too much on the classical European and “white” repertoire. However, he also acknowledged that, in addition to greatly improving his trumpet playing technique, Juilliard helped give him a grounding in music theory that would prove valuable in later years.


Davis began playing professionally, performing in several 52nd Street clubs with Coleman Hawkins and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis. In 1945, he entered a recording studio for the first time, as a member of Herbie Fields‘s group. This was the first of many recordings Davis contributed to in this period, mostly as a sideman. He finally got the chance to record as a leader in 1946, with an occasional group called the Miles Davis Sextet plus Earl Coleman and Ann Hathaway—one of the rare occasions when Davis, by then a member of the groundbreaking Charlie Parker Quintet, can be heard accompanying singers. In these early years, recording sessions where Davis was the leader were the exception rather than the rule; his next date as leader would not come until 1947.


Around 1945, Dizzy Gillespie parted ways with Parker, and Davis was hired as Gillespie’s replacement in his quintet, which also featured Max Roach on drums, Al Haig (replaced later by Sir Charles Thompson and Duke Jordan) on piano, and Curley Russell (later replaced by Tommy Potter and Leonard Gaskin) on bass.


With Parker’s quintet, Davis went into the studio several times, already showing hints of the style he would become known for. On an oft-quoted take of Parker’s signature song, Now’s the Time, Davis takes a melodic solo, whose unbop-like quality anticipates the “cool jazz” period that followed. The Parker quintet also toured widely. During a stop in Los Angeles, Parker had a nervous breakdown that landed him in the Camarillo State Mental Hospital for several months, and Davis found himself stranded.


He roomed and collaborated for some time with bassist Charles Mingus, before getting a job on Billy Eckstine‘s California tour, which eventually brought him back to New York. In 1948, Parker returned to New York, and Davis rejoined his group. The relationships within the quintet, however, were growing tense. Parker’s erratic behavior (attributable to his well-known drug addiction) and artistic choices (both Davis and Roach objected to having Duke Jordan as a pianist and would have preferred Bud Powell) became sources of friction. In December 1948, disputes over money (Davis claims he was not being paid) began to strain their relationship even further. Davis finally left the group following a confrontation with Parker at the Royal Roost.


For Davis, his departure from Parker’s group marked the beginning of a period when he worked mainly as a freelancer and sideman in some of the most important combos on the New York jazz scene.



Miles Davis




Birth of the Cool (1948–49)

In 1948 Davis grew close to the Canadian composer and arranger Gil Evans. Evans’ basement apartment had become the meeting place for several young musicians and composers such as Davis, Roach, pianist John Lewis, and baritone sax player Gerry Mulligan who were unhappy with the increasingly virtuoso instrumental techniques that dominated the bebop scene. Evans had been the arranger for the Claude Thornhill orchestra, and it was the sound of this group, as well as Duke Ellington‘s example, that suggested the creation of an unusual line-up: a nonet including a French horn and a tuba (this accounts for the “tuba band” moniker that became associated with the combo).


Davis took an active role in the project, so much so that it soon became “his project”. The objective was to achieve a sound similar to the human voice, through carefully arranged compositions and by emphasizing a relaxed, melodic approach to the improvisations.


The nonet debuted in the summer of 1948, with a two-week engagement at the Royal Roost. The sign announcing the performance gave a surprising prominence to the role of the arrangers: “Miles Davis Nonet. Arrangements by Gil Evans, John Lewis and Gerry Mulligan.” It was, in fact, so unusual that Davis had to persuade the Roost’s manager, Ralph Watkins, to word the sign this way. He prevailed only with the help of Monte Kay, the club’s artistic director.


The nonet was active until the end of 1949, along the way undergoing several changes in personnel: Roach and Davis were constantly featured, along with Mulligan, tuba player Bill Barber, and alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, who had been preferred to Sonny Stitt (whose playing was considered too bop-oriented). Over the months, John Lewis alternated with Al Haig on piano, Mike Zwerin with Kai Winding on trombone (Johnson was touring at the time), Junior Collins with Sandy Siegelstein and Gunther Schuller on French horn, and Al McKibbon with Joe Shulman on bass. Singer Kenny Hagood was added for one track during the recording.


The presence of white musicians in the group angered some black jazz players, many of whom were unemployed at the time, but Davis rebuffed their criticisms.


A contract with Capitol Records granted the nonet several recording sessions between January 1949 and April 1950. The material they recorded was released in 1956 on an album whose title, Birth of the Cool, gave its name to the “cool jazz” movement that developed at the same time and partly shared the musical direction begun by Davis’ group.


For his part, Davis was fully aware of the importance of the project, which he pursued to the point of turning down a job with Duke Ellington‘s orchestra.


The importance of the nonet experience would become clear to critics and the larger public only in later years, but, at least commercially, the nonet was not a success. The liner notes of the first recordings of the Davis Quintet for Columbia Records call it one of the most spectacular failures of the jazz club scene. This was bitterly noted by Davis, who claimed the invention of the cool style and resented the success that was later enjoyed—in large part because of the media’s attention—by white “cool jazz” musicians (Mulligan and Dave Brubeck in particular)


This experience also marked the beginning of the lifelong friendship between Davis and Gil Evans, an alliance that would bear important results in the years to follow.



Hard bop and the “Blue Period” (1950–54)

The first half of the 1950’s was, for Davis, a period of great personal difficulty. At the end of 1949, he went on tour in Paris with a group including Tadd DameronKenny Clarke (who remained in Europe after the tour), and James Moody. Davis was fascinated by Paris and its cultural environment, where black jazz musicians, and African Americans in general, often felt better respected than they did in their homeland. While in Paris, Davis began a relationship with French actress and singer Juliette Gréco.


Many of his new and old friends (Davis, in his autobiography, mentions Clarke) tried to persuade him to stay in France, but Davis decided to return to New York. Back in the States, he began to feel deeply depressed. He attributes the depression to his separation from Gréco, his feeling under-appreciated by the critics (who hailed his former collaborators as leaders of the cool jazz movement)—and to the unraveling of his liaison with a former St. Louis schoolmate who lived with him in New York, with whom he had two children.


Davis blames these factors for the heroin habit that deeply affected him for the next four years. Though he denies it in his autobiography, it is also likely that the environment he lived in played a role. Most of Davis’ associates at the time—some perhaps imitating Charlie Parker—had drug addictions of their own. These included sax players Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon, trumpeters Fats Navarro and Freddie Webster, and drummer Art Blakey). For the next four years, Davis supported his habit partly with his music and partly by living the life of a hustler. By 1953, his drug addiction began to impair his playing ability. Heroin had killed some of his friends (Navarro and Freddie Webster). He had been arrested for drug possession while on tour in Los Angeles, and his drug habit became public in a devastating Down Beat interview of Cab Calloway.


Realizing his precarious condition, Davis tried several times to end his drug addiction, finally succeeding in 1954 after returning to his father’s home in St. Louis for several months and locking himself in a room until he had gone through a painful withdrawal. During this period, he avoided New York and played mostly in Detroit and other Midwestern towns, where drugs were then harder to come by. A widely related story, attributed to Richard (Prophet) Jennings was that Davis, while in Detroit playing at the Blue Bird club as a guest soloist in Billy Mitchell‘s house band along with Tommy FlanaganElvin JonesBetty CarterYusef LateefBarry HarrisThad JonesCurtis Fuller and Donald Byrd stumbled into Baker’s Keyboard Lounge out of the rain, soaking wet and carrying his trumpet in a paper bag under his coat, walked to the bandstand and interrupted Max Roach and Clifford Brown in the midst of performing Sweet Georgia Brown by beginning to play My Funny Valentine, and then, after finishing the song, stumbled back into the rainy night. Davis was supposedly embarrassed into getting clean by this incident. In his autobiography, Davis disputed this account, stating that Roach had requested that Davis play with him that night, and that the details of the incident, such as carrying his horn in a paper bag and interrupting Roach and Brown, were fictional and that his decision to quit heroin was unrelated to the incident.


Despite all the personal turmoil, the 1950–54 period was actually quite fruitful for Davis artistically. He made quite a number of recordings and had several collaborations with other important musicians. He got to know the music of Chicago pianist Ahmad Jamal, whose elegant approach and use of space influenced him deeply. He also definitively severed his stylistic ties with bebop.


In 1951, Davis met Bob Weinstock, the owner of Prestige Records, and signed a contract with the label. Between 1951 and 1954, he released many records on Prestige, with several different combos. While the personnel of the recordings varied, the lineup often featured Sonny Rollins and Art Blakey. Davis was particularly fond of Rollins and tried several times, in the years that preceded his meeting with John Coltrane, to recruit him for a regular group. He never succeeded, however, mostly because Rollins was prone to make himself unavailable for months at a time. In spite of the casual occasions that generated these recordings, their quality is almost always quite high, and they document the evolution of Davis’ style and sound. During this time he began using the Harmon mute, held close to the microphone, in a way that became his signature, and his phrasing, especially in ballads, became spacious, melodic, and relaxed. This sound became so characteristic that the use of the Harmon mute by any jazz trumpet player since immediately conjures up Miles Davis.


The most important Prestige recordings of this period (DigBlue HazeBags’ GrooveMiles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants, and Walkin’) originated mostly from recording sessions in 1951 and 1954, after Davis’ recovery from his addiction. Also of importance are his five Blue Note recordings, collected in the Miles Davis Volume 1 album.


With these recordings, Davis assumed a central position in what is known as hard bop. In contrast with bebop, hard bop used slower tempos and a less radical approach to harmony and melody, often adopting popular tunes and standards from the American songbook as starting points for improvisation. Hard bop also distanced itself from cool jazz by virtue of a harder beat and by its constant reference to the blues, both in its traditional form and in the form made popular by rhythm and blues. A few critics go as far as to call Walkin’ the album that created hard bop, but the point is debatable, given the number of musicians who were working along similar lines at the same time (and of course many of them recorded or played with Davis).


Also in this period, Davis gained a reputation for being distant, cold, and withdrawn, and for having a quick temper. Factors that contributed to this reputation included his contempt for the critics and specialized press, and some well-publicized confrontations with the public and with fellow musicians.


A near fight with Thelonious Monk during the recording of Bags’ Groove, received wide exposure in the specialized press.


Davis had an operation to remove polyps from his larynx in October 1955. Even though he was not supposed to speak at all for ten days, he had an argument with somebody and raised his voice. This outburst damaged his vocal cords forever, giving him the characteristic raspy voice that came to be associated with him. “[…] in February or March 1956, that I had my first throat operation and had to disband the group while recovering. During the course of the conversation I raised my voice to make a point and f***ed up my voice. I wasn’t even supposed to talk for at least ten days, and here I was not only talking, but talking loudly. After that incident my voice had this whisper that has been with me ever since.”


The “nocturnal” quality of Davis’ playing and his somber reputation, along with his whispering voice, earned him the lasting moniker of “prince of darkness”, adding a patina of mystery to his public persona.



Miles Davis






First great quintet and sextet (1955–58)


Back in New York and in better health, in 1955 Davis attended the Newport Jazz Festival, where his performance (and especially his solo on “‘Round Midnight“) was greatly admired and prompted the critics to hail the “return of Miles Davis”. At the same time, Davis recruited the players for a formation that became known as his “first great quintet”: John Coltrane on tenor saxophone, Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums.



None of these musicians, with the exception of Davis, had received a great deal of exposure before that time; Chambers, in particular, was very young (19 at the time), a Detroit player who had been on the New York scene for only about a year, working with the bands of Bennie GreenPaul QuinichetteGeorge WallingtonJ. J. Johnson, and Kai Winding. Coltrane was little known at the time, in spite of earlier collaborations with Dizzy GillespieEarl Bostic, and Johnny Hodges. Davis hired Coltrane as a replacement for Sonny Rollins, after unsuccessfully trying to recruit alto saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley.


The repertoire included many bebop mainstays, standards from the Great American Songbook and the pre-bop era, and some traditional tunes. The prevailing style of the group was a development of the Davis experience in the previous years—Davis playing long, legato, and essentially melodic lines, while Coltrane, who during these years emerged as a leading figure on the musical scene, contrasted by playing high-energy solos.



With the new formation also came a new recording contract. In Newport, Davis had met Columbia Records producer George Avakian, who persuaded him to sign with his label. The quintet made its debut on record with the extremely well received ‘Round About Midnight. Before leaving Prestige, however, Davis had to fulfill his obligations during two days of recording sessions in 1956. Prestige released these recordings in the following years as four albums: Relaxin’ with the Miles Davis QuintetSteamin’ with the Miles Davis QuintetWorkin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet, and Cookin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet. While the recording took place in a studio, each record of this series has the structure and feel of a live performance, with several first takes on each album. The records became almost instant classics and were instrumental in establishing Davis’ quintet as one of the best on the jazz scene.


The quintet was disbanded for the first time in 1957, following a series of personal problems that Davis blames on the drug addiction of the other musicians. Davis played some gigs at the Cafe Bohemia with a short-lived formation that included Sonny Rollins and drummer Art Taylor, and then traveled to France, where he recorded the score to Louis Malle‘s film Ascenseur pour l’échafaud. With the aid of French session musicians Barney WilenPierre Michelot, and René Urtreger, and American drummer Kenny Clarke, he recorded the entire soundtrack with an innovative procedure, without relying on written material: starting from sparse indication of the harmony and a general feel of a given piece, the group played by watching the movie on a screen in front of them and improvising.


A performance of the Ballets Africans from Guinea in 1958 sparked Davis’s interest in modal music. This music, featuring the kalimba, stayed for long periods of time on a single chord, weaving in and out of consonance and dissonance. It was a very new concept in jazz at the time, then dominated by the chord-change based music of bebop.


Returning to New York in 1958, Davis successfully recruited Cannonball Adderley for his standing group. Coltrane, who in the meantime had freed himself from his drug habits, was available after a highly fruitful experience with Thelonious Monk and was hired back, as was Philly Joe Jones. With the quintet re-formed as a sextet, Davis recorded Milestones, an album anticipating the new directions he was preparing to give to his music.


Almost immediately after the recording of Milestones, Davis fired Garland and, shortly afterward, Jones, again for behavioral problems; he replaced them with Bill Evans—a young white pianist with a strong classical background—and drummer Jimmy Cobb. With this revamped formation, Davis began a year during which the sextet performed and toured extensively and produced a record (1958 Miles, also known as 58 Sessions). Evans had a unique, impressionistic approach to the piano, and his musical ideas had a strong influence on Davis. But after only eight months on the road with the group, he was burned out and left. He was soon replaced by Wynton Kelly, a player who brought to the sextet a swinging, bluesy approach that contrasted with Evans’ more delicate playing.



Recordings with Gil Evans (1957–63)

In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, Davis recorded a series of albums with Gil Evans, often playing flugelhorn as well as trumpet. The first, Miles Ahead (1957), showcased his playing with a jazz big band and a horn section arranged by Evans. Songs included Dave Brubeck‘s “The Duke,” as well as Léo Delibes‘s “The Maids of Cadiz,” the first piece of European classical music Davis had recorded. Another distinctive feature of the album was the orchestral passages that Evans had devised as transitions between the different tracks, which were joined together with the innovative use of editing in the post-production phase, turning each side of the album into a seamless piece of music.


In 1958, Davis and Evans were back in the studio to record Porgy and Bess, an arrangement of pieces from George Gershwin‘s opera of the same name. The lineup included three members of the sextet: Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones, and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. Davis called the album one of his favorites.


Sketches of Spain (1959–1960) featured songs by contemporary Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo and also Manuel de Falla, as well as Gil Evans originals with a Spanish flavor. Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall (1961) includes Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, along with other compositions recorded in concert with an orchestra under Evans’ direction.


Sessions with Davis and Evans in 1962 resulted in the album Quiet Nights, a short collection of bossa novas that was released against the wishes of both artists: Evans stated it was only half an album, and blamed the record company; Davis blamed producer Teo Macero, whom he didn’t speak to for more than two years. This was the last time Evans and Davis made a full album together; despite the professional separation, however, Davis noted later that “my best friend is Gil Evans.”



Kind of Blue (1959–64)






In March and April 1959, Davis re-entered the studio with his working sextet to record what is widely considered his magnum opusKind of Blue. He called back Bill Evans, months away from forming what would become his ownseminal trio, for the album sessions, as the music had been planned around Evans’ piano style. Both Davis and Evans were personally acquainted with the ideas of pianist George Russell regarding modal jazz, Davis from discussions with Russell and others before the Birth of the Cool sessions, and Evans from study with Russell in 1956. Davis, however, had neglected to inform current pianist Kelly of Evans’ role in the recordings; Kelly subsequently played only on the track “Freddie Freeloader” and was not present at the April dates for the album. “So What” and “All Blues” had been played by the sextet at performances prior to the recording sessions, but for the other three compositions, Davis and Evans prepared skeletal harmonic frameworks that the other musicians saw for the first time on the day of recording, to allow a fresher approach to their improvisations. The resulting album has proven both highly popular and enormously influential. According to the RIAAKind of Blue is the best-selling jazz album of all time, having been certified as quadruple platinum (4 million copies sold) In December 2009, the US House of Representatives voted 409–0 to pass a resolution honoring the album as a national treasure.


The trumpet Davis used on the recording is currently displayed in the music building on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. It was donated to the school by Arthur “Buddy” Gist, who met Davis in 1949 and became a close friend. The gift was the reason why the jazz program at UNCG is named the “Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program.”


In 1959, the Miles Davis Quintet was appearing at the famous Birdland nightclub in New York City. After finishing a 27 minute recording for the armed services, Davis took a break outside the club. As he was escorting an attractive blonde woman across the sidewalk to a taxi, Davis was told by Patrolman Gerald Kilduff to “move on.” Davis explained that he worked at the nightclub and refused to move. The officer said that he would arrest Davis and grabbed him as Davis protected himself. Witnesses said that Kilduff punched Davis in the stomach with his nightstick without provocation. Two nearby detectives held the crowd back as a third detective, Donald Rolker, approached Davis from behind and beat him about the head. Davis was then arrested and taken to jail where he was charged with feloniously assaulting an officer. He was then taken to St. Clary Hospital where he received five stitches for a wound on his head. Davis tried to pursue the case in the courts, but eventually dropped the proceedings in a plea bargain so he could recover his suspended Cabaret Card and return to work in New York clubs.


Davis persuaded Coltrane to play with the group on one final European tour in the spring of 1960. Coltrane then departed to form his classic quartet, although he returned for some of the tracks on Davis’ 1961 album Someday My Prince Will Come. After Coltrane, Davis tried various saxophonists, including Jimmy HeathSonny Stitt, and Hank Mobley. The quintet with Hank Mobley was recorded in the studio and on several live engagements atCarnegie Hall and the Black Hawk jazz club in San Francisco. Stitt’s playing with the group is found on a recording made in Olympia, Paris (where Davis and Coltrane had played a few months before) and the Live in Stockholm album.


In 1963, Davis’ longtime rhythm section of Kelly, Chambers, and Cobb departed. He quickly got to work putting together a new group, including  tenor saxophonist George Coleman and bassist Ron Carter. Davis, Coleman, Carter and a few other musicians recorded half the tracks for an album in the spring of 1963. A few weeks later, seventeen-year-old drummer Tony Williams and pianist Herbie Hancock joined the group, and soon afterward Davis, Coleman, and the new rhythm section recorded the rest of Seven Steps to Heaven.


The rhythm players melded together quickly as a section and with the horns. The group’s rapid evolution can be traced through the Seven Steps to Heaven album, In Europe (July 1963), My Funny Valentine (February 1964), and Four and More (also February 1964). The quintet played essentially the same repertoire of bebop tunes and standards that earlier Davis bands had played, but they tackled them with increasing structural and rhythmic freedom and, in the case of the up-tempo material, breakneck speed.


Coleman left in the spring of 1964, to be replaced by avant-garde saxophonist Sam Rivers, on the suggestion of Tony Williams. Rivers remained in the group only briefly, but was recorded live with the quintet in Japan; this configuration can be heard on Miles in Tokyo! (July 1964).


By the end of the summer, Davis had persuaded Wayne Shorter to leave Art Blakey‘s Jazz Messengers and join the quintet. Shorter became the group’s principal composer, and some of his compositions of this era (including “Footprints” and “Nefertiti”) have become standards. While on tour in Europe, the group quickly made their first official recording, Miles in Berlin (September 1964). On returning to the United States later that year, ever the musical entrepreneur, Davis (at Jackie DeShannon‘s urging) was instrumental in getting The Byrds signed to Columbia Records.



Later years

By 1979, Davis had rekindled his relationship with actress Cicely Tyson. With Tyson, Davis would overcome his cocaine addiction and regain his enthusiasm for music. As he had not played trumpet for the better part of three years, regaining his famed embouchure proved particularly arduous. While recording The Man with the Horn (sessions were spread sporadically over 1979–1981), Davis played mostly wahwah with a younger, larger band.


The initial large band was eventually abandoned in favor of a smaller combo featuring saxophonist Bill Evans (not to be confused with pianist Bill Evans of the 1958-59 sextet), and bass player Marcus Miller, both of whom would be among Davis’s most regular collaborators throughout the decade. He married Tyson in 1981; they would divorce in 1988. The Man with the Horn was finally released in 1981 and received a poor critical reception despite selling fairly well. In May, the new band played two dates as part of the Newport Jazz Festival. The concerts, as well as the live recording We Want Milesfrom the ensuing tour, received positive reviews.


By late 1982, Davis’s band included French percussionist Mino Cinelu and guitarist John Scofield, with whom he worked closely on the album Star People. In mid-1983, while working on the tracks for Decoy, an album mixing soul music and electronica that was released in 1984, Davis brought in producer, composer and keyboardist Robert Irving III, who had earlier collaborated with him on The Man with the Horn. With a seven-piece band, including Scofield, Evans, keyboardist and music director Irving, drummer Al Foster and bassist Darryl Jones (later of The Rolling Stones), Davis played a series of European gigs to positive receptions. While in Europe, he took part in the recording of Aura, an orchestral tribute to Davis composed by Danish trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg.


You’re Under Arrest, Davis’ next album, was released in 1985 and included another brief stylistic detour. Included on the album were his interpretations of Cyndi Lauper‘s ballad “Time After Time“, and Michael Jackson‘s pop hit “Human Nature“. Davis considered releasing an entire album of pop songs and recorded dozens of them, but the idea was scrapped. Davis noted that many of today’s accepted jazz standards were in fact pop songs from Broadway theater, and that he was simply updating the “standards” repertoire with new material. 1985 also saw Davis guest-star on the TV show Miami Vice as pimp and minor criminal Ivory Jones in the episode titled “Junk Love” (first aired November 8, 1985).


You’re Under Arrest was Davis’ final album for Columbia. Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis publicly dismissed Davis’ more recent fusion recordings as not being “‘true’ jazz,” comments Davis initially shrugged off, calling Marsalis “a nice young man, only confused.” This changed after Marsalis appeared, unannounced, onstage in the midst of Davis’ performance at the inaugural Vancouver International Jazz Festival in 1986. Marsalis whispered into Davis’ ear that “someone” had told him to do so. Davis responded by ordering him off the stage.


Davis grew irritated at Columbia’s delay releasing Aura. The breaking point in the label-artist relationship appears to have come when a Columbia jazz producer requested Davis place a goodwill birthday call to Marsalis. Davis signed with Warner Bros. Records shortly thereafter.


Davis collaborated with a number of figures from the British new wave movement during this period, including Scritti Politti. At the invitation of producer Bill Laswell, Davis recorded some trumpet parts during sessions for Public Image Ltd.‘s Album, according to Public Image’s John Lydon in the liner notes of their Plastic Box box set. In Lydon’s words, however, “strangely enough, we didn’t use [his contributions].” (Also according to Lydon in the Plastic Box notes, Davis favorably compared Lydon’s singing voice to his trumpet sound.)


Having first taken part in the Artists United Against Apartheid recording, Davis signed with Warner Brothers records and reunited with Marcus Miller. The resulting record, Tutu (1986), would be his first to use modern studio tools—programmed synthesizers, samples and drum loops—to create an entirely new setting for his playing. Ecstatically reviewed on its release, the album would frequently be described as the modern counterpart of Sketches of Spain and won a Grammy in 1987.


He followed Tutu with Amandla, another collaboration with Miller and George Duke, plus the soundtracks to four movies: Street SmartSiestaThe Hot Spot (with bluesman John Lee Hooker), and Dingo. He continued to tour with a band of constantly rotating personnel and a critical stock at a level higher than it had been for 15 years. His last recordings, both released posthumously, were the hip hop-influenced studio album Doo-Bop and Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux, a collaboration with Quincy Jones for the 1991 Montreux Jazz Festival. For the first time in three decades, Davis returned to the songs arranged by Gil Evans on such 1950s albums as Miles AheadPorgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain. This album was also the last album recorded by Davis. It left a lot of people who had been disappointed with his newer, more experimental works happy that he had ended his career on such way.




The grave of Miles Davis in Woodlawn Cemetery

In 1988 he had a small part as a street musician in the film Scrooged, starring Bill Murray. In 1989, Davis was interviewed on 60 Minutes by Harry Reasoner. Davis received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990.


In early 1991, he appeared in the Rolf de Heer film Dingo as a jazz musician. In the film’s opening sequence, Davis and his band unexpectedly land on a remote airstrip in the Australian outback and proceed to perform for the surprised locals. The performance was one of Davis’s last on film.


During the last years of Miles Davis’s life, there were rumors that he had AIDS, something that he and his manager Peter Shukat vehemently denied. Even though it was not publicly known, by that time Davis was taking azidothymidine (AZT), a type of antiretroviral drug used for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.


Davis died on September 28, 1991 from the combined effects of a stroke, pneumonia and respiratory failure in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 65. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.








Views on his earlier work

Late in his life, from the ‘electric period’ onwards, Davis repeatedly explained his reasons for not wishing to perform his earlier works, such as Birth of the Cool or Kind of Blue. In Davis’ view, remaining stylistically static was the wrong option. He commented: ” “So What” or Kind of Blue, they were done in that era, the right hour, the right day, and it happened. It’s over.  What I used to play with Bill Evans, all those different modes, and substitute chords, we had the energy then and we liked it. But I have no feel for it anymore, it’s more like warmed-over turkey.” When Shirley Horn insisted in 1990 that Miles reconsider playing the ballads and modal tunes of his Kind of Blue period, he demurred. “Nah, it hurts my lip,” was the reason he gave.


Other musicians regretted Davis’s change of style, for example, Bill Evans, who was instrumental in creating Kind of Blue, said: “I would like to hear more of the consummate melodic master, but I feel that big business and his record company have had a corrupting influence on his material. The rock and pop thing certainly draws a wider audience. It happens more and more these days, that unqualified people with executive positions try to tell musicians what is good and what is bad music.”



Legacy and influence

Miles Davis is regarded as one of the most innovative, influential and respected figures in the history of music. He has been described as “one of the great innovators in jazz”. The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll noted “Miles Davis played a crucial and inevitably controversial role in every major development in jazz since the mid-’40s, and no other jazz musician has had so profound an effect on rock. Miles Davis was the most widely recognized jazz musician of his era, an outspoken social critic and an arbiter of style—in attitude and fashion—as well as music”. His album Kind of Blue is the best-selling album in the history of jazz music. On November 5, 2009, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan sponsored a measure in the United States House of Representatives to recognize and commemorate the album on its 50th anniversary. The measure also affirms jazz as a national treasure and “encourages the United States government to preserve and advance the art form of jazz music.” It passed, unanimously, with a vote of 409–0 on December 15, 2009.


As an innovative bandleader and composer, Miles Davis has influenced many notable musicians and bands from diverse genres. Many well-known musicians rose to prominence as members of Davis’s ensembles, including saxophonists Gerry MulliganJohn ColtraneCannonball AdderleyGeorge ColemanWayne ShorterDave LiebmanBranford Marsalis and Kenny Garrett; trombonist J. J. Johnson; pianists Horace SilverRed GarlandWynton KellyBill EvansHerbie HancockJoe ZawinulChick Corea,Keith Jarrett and Kei Akagi; guitarists John McLaughlinPete CoseyJohn Scofield and Mike Stern; bassists Paul ChambersRon CarterDave HollandMarcus Miller and Darryl Jones; and drummers Elvin JonesPhilly Joe JonesJimmy CobbTony WilliamsBilly CobhamJack DeJohnette, and Al Foster. Miles’ influence on the people who played with him has been described by music writer and author Christopher Smith as follows:

Miles Davis’ artistic interest was in the creation and manipulation of ritual space, in which gestures could be endowed with symbolic power sufficient to form a functional communicative, and hence musical, vocabulary. […] Miles’ performance tradition emphasized orality and the transmission of information and artistic insight from individual to individual. His position in that tradition, and his personality, talents, and artistic interests, impelled him to pursue a uniquely individual solution to the problems and the experiential possibilities of improvised performance.


His approach, owing largely to the African American performance tradition that focused on individual expression, emphatic interaction, and creative response to shifting contents, had a profound impact on generations of jazz musicians.


In 1986, the New England Conservatory awarded Miles Davis an Honorary Doctorate for his extraordinary contributions to music. Since 1960 the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) has honored him with eight Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and three Grammy Hall of Fame Awards. In 2010, Molde jazz premiered a play called Driving Miles, which focused on a landmark concert Davis performed in Molde, Norway, in 1984.





Miles Davis – Pharaoh’s Dance (Bitches Brew)






Miles Davis – Bitches Brew (Bitches Brew)






Miles Davis – In A Silent Way [Full Album HD]














Miles Davis – Sorcerer [Full Album HD]

















Jueseppi B.:

Thank you Ms. Suzanne Bogue, of the blog “panhandleprofessionalwriters”. Very informative post.

Originally posted on panhandleprofessionalwriters:

Black History MonthThe month of February is Black History month.  I did a little research to find out more about some of the African-American writers who deserve to be honored this month.

We are all familiar with writers, such as Terry McMillan author of Waiting to Exhale (1992); and Toni Morrison, 1993 Nobel Prize winner and author of Beloved (1987) for which she won a Pulitzer Prize. The list also includes such writers as Alex Haley whose book Roots:  The Saga of an American Family (1976) was adapted to a popular television mini-series in 1977.

But the list of African-American writers of note not only includes these famous individuals and those such as poets Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou as well as novelist Alice Walker; it also includes more obscure names–people whose works you might have read and not realized that they were African-American.Black History month in books

Frank Yerby was an historical novelist best known as…

View original 284 more words

Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton & Nathaniel A. Pendleton Sr. ~ “Our Daughter Deserves A Vote”


By Jueseppi B.






Here’s what President Obama said about our daughter last night:

“One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend. Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house.”



We were honored to join First Lady Michelle Obama as her guests at the State of the Union. And we were deeply moved by the president’s words — about Hadiya and about the need for Congress to fix our broken gun laws


Our daughter was a bright and beautiful girl who deserved a full life. No parent should have to bury their child, and there’s no excuse for any more delays. Congress has common sense proposals in front of them. It’s time for them to vote!



Call Congress RIGHT NOW and tell them: 33 Americans are murdered with guns every day. THEY DESERVE A VOTE.







We’re in Washington, DC today meeting with our members of Congress. We’re going to tell them about our daughter and what it’s like to lose someone you love so much to gun violence.


But we won’t stop there. We’re going to demand that they act now. We’re going to tell them: “You guys signed up for the job. Now do something!”


It’s time. Please join us by calling your members of Congress today:


Thank you for making your voice heard,

Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton & Nathaniel A. Pendleton Sr.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns



Hadiya Pendleton – Walking Angel



1,774 Americans fatally shot since Newtown.


More than 1,774, actually. In 60 days.


That averages out to 29 people a day. On Christmas, 30 Americans were killed by guns. On New Year’s Day, it was 58. On Martin Luther King Day, 28. Last Thursday was a good day — only 13 Americans were shot to death that day.


Click here to see Slate’s utterly breath-taking graphic of the gun-death tally since December 14, the date of the Newtown massacre.


  • Call Congress: 202-224-3121
  • Call the White House: 202-456-1111
  • Find your Senators by clicking here (if you’d rather send an email, you’ll find that information here, too).
  • Find your US Representative by clicking here (if you’d rather send an email, you’ll find that information here, too).






















Funeral Held For Teen Girl Killed At Chicago Playground













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