When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.

Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

It can be hard to distinguish among the men wearing grey suits and regulation haircuts on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. But David Margolis always brought a splash of color.

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Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.


Geof Bradfield's 'Melba!' On JazzSet

Jan 10, 2013
Originally published on June 23, 2014 10:13 am

Not long ago, when musicians needed good charts, they called Melba Liston. She wrote for Dizzy Gillespie, Randy Weston, Elvin Jones, Clark Terry and many more.

Now, saxophonist Geof Bradfield and his Chicago ensemble offer the premiere of a suite — Melba! — commissioned by Chamber Music America. It traces her life story through Kansas City and Los Angeles, her work with Gillespie and Weston, and her assignments in Detroit and Kingston. The studio recording of Melba! is just out on the Origin label. JazzSet has the live version.

Liston was born in 1926 with music in her soul. As a child, she taught herself to play the trombone. She was a reluctant soloist, but she grew into a stunning, sought-after composer and arranger. Bradfield knows, because he studied 45 boxes of her scores in the archive at the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College in Chicago. In an interview with JazzSet, he described his mindset after his research, as he began to create Melba!

"I thought about the struggle that she went through as a woman in the jazz world," Bradfield says, "as somebody largely self-taught in this very complex music, and how she always talked about — because she had taught herself — she always had to reach down deep. It was always hard for her to write. That idea of struggle, I think, is there in her music."

"Let me not lose my dream," a line by the Harlem Renaissance poet Georgia Douglas Johnson, inspires the opening movement, "Kansas City Child." Next comes an almost-blues named "Central Avenue" for the street where swing met bebop in Los Angeles in the 1940s. Melba Liston was there. Her middle-school classmate was Dexter Gordon, the future saxophone idol. Liston also worked for the up-and-coming bandleader Gerald Wilson at the Lincoln Theater, a.k.a. the Apollo of the West Coast.

The next two movements are "Dizzy Gillespie" and "Randy Weston." It is Gillespie who hired Liston as one of the first woman horn players — if not the first — in a major big band. As she told it in Gillespie's autobiography, To Be or Not to Bop, "[Dizzy] heard I was in town. There was one trombone player he wanted to get rid of, so immediately he fired him. And I went by to visit. [Dizzy] says, 'Where's ya goddamned horn? Don't you see this empty chair up there? You're supposed to be working tonight.'" Melba Liston toured the Mideast and South America with Gillespie's band, supported by the U.S. State Department.

Her association with pianist Randy Weston was long and fruitful. For four decades, she arranged and conducted on Weston recordings like Uhuru Afrika (1960) and The Spirits of Our Ancestors (1991). According to Weston in NPR's Jazz Profiles, their collaboration went like this: He would write a theme (often a waltz), play it for her and answer her questions about it. Liston would take the music home. Later, when she came to the studio with the arrangement, Weston says she always surprised him. Even though it wasn't something he had made, it was exactly what he intended, he told Geof Bradfield in an interview.

In the 1970s, Liston wrote arrangements for the Motown and Stax labels, and taught in a school in Jamaica. The movement "Detroit Kingston" is a conversation between melodic fragments from "What's Goin' On" and "No Woman No Cry."

Then the first Kansas City Women's Jazz Festival brought Melba Liston home. In his finale, "The Homecoming," Bradfield brings back melodic motifs from "Kansas City Child." Committing yourself to your best material is one lesson Bradfield says he learned from studying Melba Liston.

Bradfield participates in the Melba Liston Research Collective, which in 2014 will publish an edition of the Black Music Research Journal about her. To hear Liston's story in her own and others' words, with plenty of her music, see NPR's Jazz Profiles.


  • Victor Garcia, trumpet
  • Geof Bradfield, soprano and tenor sax
  • Joel Adams, trombone
  • Jeff Parker, guitar
  • Ryan Cohan, piano
  • Clark Sommers, bass
  • George Fludas, drums


Melba! by Geof Bradfield and the Geof Bradfield Ensemble has been made possible with support from Chamber Music America's New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development program, funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. An album from Melba! is coming in 2013. Location recording by Dan Nichols of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Geof Bradfield is on the faculty at NIU. Surround Sound mix by Duke Markos.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.