Search & Destroy: Sun Ra

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Chin strokers of the universe unite. Search and destroy the cosmic weirdness of Mr.Ra.

Omar, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Search: Strange Celestial Roads: cosmic jazz-funk in a Sly Stone stylee. Jazz in Silhouette: classic '50s large-band jazz, a la Mingus or Monk. Life is Splended: Live at Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival 1973: one hell of a live electric freak-out (destroy the '72 and '74 albums from the same festival--they don't have anywhere near the spark of this one). Somewhere Else: uneven but featuring a glorious 12-minute "Love in Outer Space" that might be the best thing in his catalogue. Solo Piano: simple, eccentric, beautiful. The Magic City: half-hour title track lives up to its name; the rest is pretty great also. Sun Song: one hell of a repertory company. The Singles: because he really could do everything, albeit weirdly. Greatest Hits: because he really did have, um, "standards." The Great Lost Sun Ra Albums: getting funky a la Miles Davis--and not a la acid jazz (see the massively overrated Lanquidity--or don't). Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy/Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow: ambient music lives. When Angels Speak of Love: seat-of-the- pants improv lives.

Destroy: A Black Mass, a super-lo-fi you-are-there-with- earplugs-in document of a 1965 play by Amiri Baraka that Ra and co. improvised music to. Badly.

M. Matos, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Singles collection is probably my favourite.

nathalie, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

'Nothing Is', 'Heliocentric Worlds', 'Atlantis' and 'Languidity' are also great. 'Languidity' is much more Herbie Hancock circa 'Thrust', 'Headhunters' etc, than acid jazz.

I also have the tracks 'Spring and Summer Idyll' and 'Rome at Twilight' as MP3, not sure which LPs they're from, but they're both very good too.

m jemmeson, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Along with Lee "Scratch" Perry and George Clinton, one of the great innovators of black music, at least this is what most critics say... I only own "Greatest hits - easy listening for intergalactic travel" (which is, as the title implies, a "best of", even if the term "hits" sounds a bit out of place...). It's a quite pleasant listen, even excellent at times, so maybe those critics may be right for once... He was a bit weird, just like anyone who claims to be from Saturn I guess and thus I'm quite intrigued by him... I'll definitely buy something more in the near future :-)

Simone, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Search:

i've got to add "Solar Myth Approach, Vols 1 & 2", "Nubians of Plutonia", and the Evidence version of "Space is the Place".

mike j, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Pretty much all the good'uns have already been mentioned, but gotta give props to 'My Brother The Wind Vol II', where Ra farts abt with his newly acquired synths like a proto-Aphex Twin, and the Blast First rarities comp 'Out There a Minute', my intro to the Arkestra, which still works as a good overall samping of the man's many moods.

Destroy: never really heard a BAD Sun Ra disc, but the second vol of 'Heliocentric Worlds' is a major let-down after the first alb, which heavily features John Gilmore at his hard-blowin' best.

Andrew L, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I would say everything .....ok "heliocentric worlds' "atlantis" "space is the place" " magic city" but of course I've just heard a small portion of his infinite output .lots of planets yet to be discovered....

francesco, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

i second the singles compilation recommendation, a good starting point, many of his styles on one purchase, from 50's big band through to the synth stuff and much weirdness,...

jk, Friday, 17 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

That 'Concert from the Black Forest' circa 1974 (?) with the 15- minute synth freakout, that's great. Can't remember exact CD title - it's in Hackney Library (Mare St. branch) if that helps

dave q, Friday, 17 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

fuck hackney library. they wouldn't let me join because i'm not a resident of the borough (i'm 5 mins walk outside it)

gareth, Friday, 17 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Gareth - me neither. I also cards for Camden and Islington. What you do is, bring the card you have into a library in another borough and tell them that there's stuff you need that's only found in THEIR branch, or something. (Actually, I didn't even need to give a reason.) Just fill in a form and you get a card on the same day.

Only drawback is that having 3 library cards and living in a pigsty, I usually have about 35 CDs out at any one time, they get mixed up and I right now I have £60 in fines to pay off

dave q, Friday, 17 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

yes i suffer from this problem, with camden, islington and barnet cards. and at parents house somewhere i have bradford, calderdale, leeds and kirklees cards!

gareth, Friday, 17 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

he's about the only jazz guy i can stand in large doses. if for nothing else i would remember him for _cosmic tones_ (chamber noise whose only real contemporary is the third ear band's _alchemy_), _atlantis_ (clavinets falling down the stairs), _concert for the comet kouhoutek_ (anything dedicated to kouhoutek rules, see also yahowa 13, best track here though is "journey through the outer darkness" which sounds like a saxophone is being chewed to pieces as it's played), _strange strings_ (more unearthed ur-drone/noise/improv for eastern string instruments). honorable mention for backing up yochannon on "message to the earthman," one of the craziest thing i've ever heard. "shut the door! waaaaghhhh!!!"

your null fame, Friday, 17 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

>he's about the only jazz guy i can stand in large doses.

Destroy: jazz recommendations from soul-less people.

matthew m., Sunday, 19 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

In that case ;)I'll just add one S and one D.

Search: Atlantis. Title track finally fulfills fantasies I had of what Sun Ra would sound like: alien, cold, forbidding, etc. The rest of the album is pretty good too.

Destroy. Pictures of Infinity. Not really bad, but also not spectacular live album. Classic wrong entry album that makes you go "is this what all the fuss is about?"

Omar, Sunday, 19 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

The album Dave Q's talking about, is that "Nuits de la Fondation Maeght" (I prob'ly spelt that wrong)? yeah & 1 of my favs that I didn't notice anyone mentioning here is "Astro Black" (early '70s, Sirone on bass)...Hey Omar "Pics of Infinity" is GOOD.

duane, Sunday, 19 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Destroy: jazz recommendations from soul-less people.

feh. i guess it would be better if i walked around blathering the names of dead black guys like i knew them personally and pretending to enjoy the endless wank. got yer soul right HERE.

your null fame, Tuesday, 21 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Destroy: jazz recommendations from soul-less people.

in that case i had better not mention that i quite like Shamek Farrah

gareth, Tuesday, 21 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...
Today is Sun Ra's Arrival Day. If you came from nowhere here, why can't you go somewhere there?

Additional recommendations: Monorails and Satellites, Sun Ra playing solo piano. Like many Sun Ra recordings, this took a few listens (in this case separated over a number of years) before I came to appreciate it.

Other Planes of There. I don't know why this seems to be considered less accessible than Atlantis or the Magic City, both of which are too chaotic-sounding for me (at least in their title tracks). This starts off a bit more spare than the title tracks from those albums. There are some difficult moments, but overall I like it. The recording quality on the title track is perhaps "cruder" than that on "Heliocentric Worlds vol.I:," but I find it warmer, though I can't explain how such lonely and alienated sounding music can also be warm. At times I think I hear echoes of Varese (sp?). It includes "Pleasure" which always blows my mind. The last rack, which maintains more or less a waltz rhythm throughout is probably my least favorite on the album, but it's pretty good.

Angels and Demons at Play/The Nubians of Plutonia is a pretty accessible and enjoyable CD. (Did I just say anything there? Probably not.) Fate in a Pleasant Mood/When Sun Comes Out is also good. The first album is relatively straight, while the second one gets into more "uncompromising sonic exploration" sort of territory. The rediscovered bonus track of Marshall Allen playing clarinet is a treat. It sounds like he is work on a theme very close to one that appears on one or more other tracks (elsewhere), possibly "Next Stop Mars."

Destroy? I'm reluctant to say destroy anything, since Sun Ra albums I didn't like have often grown on me. I am less keen on his live albums in general than a lot of Sun Ra fans seem to be, though I love seeing the Arkestra live.

DeRayMi, Wednesday, 22 May 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Janus is nice too, though I wouldn't recommend it as a starting point. Island in the Sun is an airy, accessible piece. The Invisible Shield and Janus sort of run together. The beginning is pretty unrelenting, but it moves into a sound similar to "Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy," but more organic, with Art Jenkins on wordless vocals, trying to connect with his ancient African roots. There's a really nice live version of Velvet recorded some time late in the 60's. Joy is pretty challenging at times, but on a recent listen I realized that Sun Ra's piano playing was far more structured on this piece than I had realized before, so I think there's more there than what I first heard.

DeRayMi, Wednesday, 22 May 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The rediscovered bonus track of Marshall Allen playing clarinet is a treat.

Correction: John Gilmore plays clarinet on this track.

Incidentally, Marshall Allen's Arrival Day is this Saturday (the 25th). It will be celebrated at the Tritone in Philadelphia.

DeRayMi, Thursday, 23 May 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Search: John Szwed's fantastic biography, surely one of the best musician bio's ever.

I just found out that Szwed has a Miles Davis book coming out this year. Oh happy day!

Ben Williams, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Bought a couple of Ra records a couple of months ago.

The ideal starting point is the soundtrack to the Ra movie (can't remeber name). There's a lot of varied material there and it serves as a sort of Ra comp.

I like the group improvisations and the stuff he does with his moog (big slabs of noise: a take no prisoners approach there). Will have to get more records and the biog. Swzed is a good writer.

Julio Desouza, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

'space is the place' on impulse you mean?

Josh, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The CD was not on impulse (I can't check the record: it's on the other side of the atlantic!).

Julio Desouza, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

in the credits to the ra movie (remake: Queen of the Damned) is the name WILLIAM DHALGREN: this has always intrigued me

mark s, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Is that movie available on video, mark (anybody)?

''in the credits to the ra movie (remake: Queen of the Damned) is the name WILLIAM DHALGREN: this has always intrigued me''

Why?

Julio Desouza, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

It's "Soundtrack to the film 'Space is the Place'" on Evidence. Mostly excellent stuff.

rw, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I hate to admit it but the "Space is the Place" soundtrack is one of the only Sun Ra CDs I've ever gotten rid of. I still don't consider it a good place to start. (The Greatest Hits does a pretty good job, though it doesn't really cover the full range of Sun Ra's career, just the stuff that evidence has the rights too, though that's plenty. "Out There a Minute" is a good introduction for the more adventurous.) I'd like to get a copy again. Seeing part of the movie (played before the Arkestra's 2001 New Year's show), with June Tyson singing "Outer Spaceways Incorporated" got me interested.

DeRayMi, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The soundtrack isn't a classic but it drives home the message that the arkestra covered a lot of differen things. The arkestra was an incredible experiment and that's what i got from that CD.

THESE records shop has a rack fully devoted to Ra (one of the guys who runs it absolutely worships him). That's where i got that CD from. Google it, they run a mail order service.

Julio Desouza, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
This is not my home!
This is not my home!

DeRayMi, Thursday, 13 June 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
I've been listening to "Nuits de la Fondation Maeght, Volumes 1 & 2" recently. I got them in New York in this famous Jazz shop which is hidden halfway up an office block. The Sun Ra experts at http://www.dpo.uab.edu/~moudry/disclist.htm describe these as "miserable sounding pirates" - but I've heard worse, including some official Sun Ra releases! I love the 1st Volume, I much prefer the version of "Shadow World" to the version on "Magic City" and I think "Cosmic Explorer" is the single greatest piece of electronic music I've ever heard from Mr. Ra - it is simply ferocious. I'm trying to imagine what it must have been like for the French audience to go along to another freaky jazz gig by another freaky Black guy from America and being confronted by this electronic hurricane - must have been astonishing. "Friendly Galaxy No. 2" on Volume 2 is one of my favourite Ra pieces, it doesn't sound like anything else he ever did - it's a kind of floating piece with lots of atmospheric flute (apparently there are 5 or 6 flautists playing), it somehow reminds me of music for a late 60s sci-fi film. Apparently, Ra wrote a unique arrangement of it for that evening's performance based on the auditorium they were playing in.

In a similar vein, I recently got "Black Myth/Out in Space" - "Out In Space" being another electronic maelstrom, this time lasting almost 38 minutes! Believe me, not a CD for the faint-hearted!

I have to confess however that I'm not a tremendous fan of his so- called "great" albums from the mid-60's: "Magic City", "Heliocentric Worlds", "Atlantis". I think these albums are remarkable but I don't find myself listening to them very often - they're more to be admired than loved. Certainly, if you're looking for jazz don't look at the "Heliocentric Worlds" albums - these are probably the least "jazz" jazz albums I've ever heard, closer in fact to Varese or even Boulez.

KCoyne, Tuesday, 6 August 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"Nuits de la Fondation Maeght, Volumes 1 & 2" I've heard a lot of good reviews of this on the Saturn mailing list.

I have to confess however that I'm not a tremendous fan of his so- called "great" albums from the mid-60's: "Magic City", "Heliocentric Worlds", "Atlantis". . . . Certainly, if you're looking for jazz don't look at the "Heliocentric Worlds" albums - these are probably the least "jazz" jazz albums I've ever heard, closer in fact to Varese or even Boulez.

I don't really like those albums either. (I have only heard one of Heliocentric volumes, but I own the other volume and the other two titles mentioned.) Have you heard "Other Planes of There"? The title track covers somewhat similar material to "Heliocentric Worlds" but is much warmer and less rigid sounding. I don't mind jazz that doesn't sound much like jazz, per se, but I share your lack of enthusiasm for these albums.

DeRayMi, Tuesday, 6 August 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"Magic City" is great, and sounds much more like jazz than Boulez to me (not that it matters).

Ben Williams, Tuesday, 6 August 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

julio: because dhalgren is a book by noted black SF writer samuel delany from the same era as space is the place, and it is never clear (at least i have never worked out) why it is called dhalgren

mark s, Tuesday, 6 August 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

This is a late late answer but here it is. Just been reading Ra's biog (space is the place) and of course, it isn't the only that isn't clear with Ra.

Julio Desouza, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Just finished listening to 'Nothing is...' again and its not the 'chaotic' or anything. to these ears its a very organised piece of music. There are two brief 'free for all' moments. 'Imagination' on side 1 and midway trough to the final track on side 2.

I enjoyed 'Exotic Forest'. A constant bassline but lovely 'middle eastern' blowing (cliche alert!) and rolling percussion. And whenever sun ra plays on that piano (he sounds like a classical pianist who had burnt his hands but was still able to play) the music would change direction.

Definetely need to listen more. There's much more but i need to go to sleep.

anyway, will get some more recs soon...

Julio Desouza, Wednesday, 14 August 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Julio, I would love to convince you to try some Arabic music, for actual middle eastern sounds. I'm telling you, "Salo Ko'os" or "Ana Fe Entezarak" performed by Oum Kalthoum are challenging pieces of music that could appeal to free jazz ears. There are plenty of others, but I think these would be most likely to appeal to your ears, of the ones I've heard. Of course, I don't really know what you have or haven't heard.

Generally when I read that something sounds "middle eastern" in a published review, I find that it either sounds only very vaguely middle eastern or it doesn't sound middle eastern at all. (For instance "Circe" from "When Sun Comes Out" doesn't sound like anything a middle eastern singer would do, though the liner notes describe it that way.)

DeRayMi, Wednesday, 14 August 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

deraymi- I'd love to try it some middle eastern music. I'm already interested to some flamenco after listening to derek bailey's guitar playin on 'aida' (there's so much on that album).

I'll try to track some of this stuff down (yet some more for the record pile but I need to visit the 'world music' section at tower anyway).

Julio Desouza, Wednesday, 14 August 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

actually, i meant there's so much to lo listen to on 'aida' not 'so much flamenco', in fact there's a little bit of it (it's all incorporated into his playing).

Julio Desouza, Wednesday, 14 August 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

He has a chapter on Flamenco on his book on improvisation (but I guess you probably own that, of course).

I don't care much for Flamenco singing, which sounds to me like degenerate Arabic singing (not that I am saying it really is, but to my Arabicized ears, it kind of sounds that way); but I do like the guitar. Where I take salsa classes, there is also a Flamenco dance class. The teacher's husband is a guitarist who plays for the class. When I first heard him playing I was amazed by how good he is. I did kind of a double take, like, wow, this guy is actually really good, not just the teacher's husband who happens to play a little guitar or something. In fact, do you know much about Flamenco guitar, because that's something I'd be interested in hearing recommendations for? (I probably should get off my butt and be daring and go to a little bar at the edge of what used to be the barrio, where this guitarist sometimes accompanies his wife, etc.)

DeRayMi, Wednesday, 14 August 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

god but I do have my half dozen pet topics.

DeRayMi, Wednesday, 14 August 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

yeah, flamenco guitarists is definetely what I'm after. about flamenco singing it depends how much you've heard. if you haven't heard much then it depends what you've heard.

yeah...i've looked into flamenco guitarists but I can't remember any names (i think there was a webpage somewhere, I suppose I feel a thread coming).

Julio Desouza, Thursday, 15 August 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
Sun Ra thread, as (sort of) requested.

Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 8 October 2002 13:49 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Related question: Sun Ra for beginners? What would you recommend for a novice (me) who knows the legend but has never (knowingly) heard any of the music?

j.lu (j.lu), Tuesday, 8 October 2002 14:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

j.lu, I still think that all in all the "Greatest Hits" that Evidence released is as good a one-CD introduction as any. It might spend a little too much time on material from the 50's for people coming to Sun Ra from an essentially non-jazz background (like me), but it does a nice job of showing the variety in his work, and giving some good examples of it. I would make different choices here and there, but overall it's good. My personal favorite Sun Ra comp. is "Out There a Minute," which draws exclusively from the 60's, and contains a lot of smaller ensmble things. It's not as generally representative as the Greatest Hits, however. Despite the rave reviews for the "Singles" collection, I would steer you away from that as an intro.

Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 8 October 2002 14:06 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"Jazz in Silhoutte" is a good intro. Sounds trad and experimental at the same time. Also one of his best ever.

Ben Williams, Tuesday, 8 October 2002 15:18 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

One of the big things you miss with the Evidence "Greatest Hits" is the Free Big Band Space Chant sub-genre of Sun Ra's works. (Examples: "Space is the Place" and to some extent "Strange Celesital Roads," though that's a bit mellower and funkier.) Also, there's no live material on there at all, as far as I can remember (but I don't particularly go for the live material).

Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 8 October 2002 16:16 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
This new release (first time, I gather) of old material looks promising: New Sun Ra on Atavistic Label

Ra-kist Scientist, Friday, 25 October 2002 23:38 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

that Discipline 27-II reissue looks great, too bad I probably won't be able to get my hands on it

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 19 April 2017 19:13 (eight months ago) Permalink

I'm lukewarm on Janus, seemed like a patchwork reissue with different sessions mixed up iirc

sleeve, Wednesday, 19 April 2017 19:15 (eight months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

i picked up both and i'm happy i did!

right now very much enjoying the sun ra and merzbow cd

the late great, Sunday, 30 July 2017 05:45 (five months ago) Permalink

Bunch of great liner notes/things I haven't heard here: https://sunramusic.bandcamp.com/

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 2 August 2017 17:07 (five months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

yeah I just got turned on to that Bandcamp stuff via this

https://daily.bandcamp.com/2017/10/13/sun-ra-album-guide/

I know how I'm spending my weekend

sleeve, Friday, 13 October 2017 20:41 (three months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

this year i choose to listen to all sun ra, chronologically.

Karl Malone, Monday, 1 January 2018 20:04 (two weeks ago) Permalink

really been digging The Nubians of Plutonia recently.

calzino, Monday, 1 January 2018 20:33 (two weeks ago) Permalink

i'm only 21 albums away from it!

Karl Malone, Monday, 1 January 2018 20:37 (two weeks ago) Permalink

that journey covers a lot of astronomical units!

calzino, Monday, 1 January 2018 20:45 (two weeks ago) Permalink

is that including "the eternal myth, revealed"?

one year i decided i was going to listen to all of duke ellington's recordings chronologically. i think i got up to 1932?

bob lefse (rushomancy), Monday, 1 January 2018 21:32 (two weeks ago) Permalink

is that including "the eternal myth, revealed"?

not at the moment, i don't think! i'm starting off with this as my guide: https://www.discogs.com/artist/2219395-The-Sun-Ra-Arkestra?sort=year%2Casc&limit=250&page=1

Karl Malone, Monday, 1 January 2018 21:38 (two weeks ago) Permalink

My friend saw one of the four Arkestra shows this past weekend. Marshall Allen is 93! Apparently he was supposed to sit some of it out, but I guess he played the entire time.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 1 January 2018 22:42 (two weeks ago) Permalink

http://campber.people.clemson.edu/earthlies.jpg

budo jeru, Monday, 1 January 2018 22:55 (two weeks ago) Permalink

has anyone ever owned or even SEEN a copy of hartmut geerken's discography?

budo jeru, Monday, 1 January 2018 22:56 (two weeks ago) Permalink

you mean the book titles “sun ra omniverse”? or something else?

the late great, Monday, 1 January 2018 23:03 (two weeks ago) Permalink

"omniverse" yeah, that's the one. looks like it was reprinted in 2015, but probably it was also revised / updated?

i can't find much about it except for a long and glowing review of the 1994 ed. on amazon.

geerken's own website doesn't help much, although it looks like the guy has written a LOT about SR (and in a number of languages).

http://www.hartmutgeerken.com/26.html

budo jeru, Monday, 1 January 2018 23:41 (two weeks ago) Permalink

nevermind, this is the info i was looking for. among many other things, it includes a revised discography co-authored by christopher trent (who did "earthly recordings"). also the photographs look amazing.

http://artyardrecords.co.uk/omniverse-sun-ra/

from the art yard website:

The new, completely revised edition features:

Unpublished photographs of Sun Ra and the Arkestra by Hartmut Geerken and Val Wilmer.

Fully revised discography by Chris Trent, co-author of The Earthly Recordings of Sun Ra.

Articles by Geerken, Amiri Baraka, Chris Cutler, Robert L. Campbell, Salah Ragab, Gabi Geist and others.

New full colour images of hundreds of Sun Ra album covers, posters, handbills and ephemera, including reproductions of rare hand drawn and coloured LP sleeves.

budo jeru, Monday, 1 January 2018 23:48 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I have the 2015 Art Yard edition. Worth it for the photos alone, nicely printed, and the discography is great to have.

by the light of the burning Citroën, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 00:25 (two weeks ago) Permalink

that looks amazing. $72 via forced exposure

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 00:32 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I have been sloooowly making my way through in roughly chronological order over the past few years but using this as a guide, which lists everything in chronological order by the oldest track on each record.

cwkiii, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 00:58 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I have a copy of “omniverse”, I rarely look at it because (like most of the books i own) it’s simply faster and easier to look up info on the internet. but yeah, it’s a nice book for sure!

the late great, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 01:04 (two weeks ago) Permalink

i have a small collection of ra related books

my favorites are “this planet is doomed” (edited collection of spoken word transcripts) and “space, interiors and exteriors” (poems, aye aton’s art, his photos of the murals in the philadelphia arkestra commune, production stills from space is the place, etc)

the late great, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 01:10 (two weeks ago) Permalink

if anyone here hasn't already read the "Space Is The Place" bio, that's very good as well

sleeve, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 01:19 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Art Yard's been doing some cool releases too, I have a double 10" of "lost archive" recordings that's pretty damn good

sleeve, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 01:20 (two weeks ago) Permalink

the pink one? i have a pink double 10” that’s amazing!!

the late great, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 01:27 (two weeks ago) Permalink

yes, that one!

sleeve, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 01:31 (two weeks ago) Permalink

is anyone interested in doing a sun-ra-in-chronological-order listening thread?

budo jeru, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 01:38 (two weeks ago) Permalink

i'd be interested in following along for sure

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 02:40 (two weeks ago) Permalink

sure

the late great, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 02:54 (two weeks ago) Permalink

yeah, I'd give it a shot!

sleeve, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 03:35 (two weeks ago) Permalink

okay, great.

it's my feeling that, after a brief look at sonny's work as a sideman in the 1940s + one of the singles compilations, it would be best just to move right through the arkestra records by release date (going by discogs as KM has been). when material is repackaged for a later release, or when the recording date(s) precede the release date by a significant amount, we can just address it in the thread. and, well, unless there's any objection to that i'll get this thread started in the next couple of days.

budo jeru, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 04:41 (two weeks ago) Permalink

My friend saw one of the four Arkestra shows this past weekend. Marshall Allen is 93! Apparently he was supposed to sit some of it out, but I guess he played the entire time.

― Josh in Chicago, Monday, January 1, 2018 4:42 PM (yesterday) Bookmark

i am not your friend (well, i would be if we met but I'm not the friend you're talking about) BUT i also saw one of these shows and he was scooting around the whole time, seemed energetic for a person of his age and his final note of the concert (on that weird electronic voice thing) was the final note i heard played in 2017. i liked that.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 2 January 2018 15:03 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Compared to when I saw Pharaoh Sanders with the Underground Duo a bit back, and Sanders barely played anything of note (no pun intended) and merely shuffled around in oversized beat up sneakers like a dude who had seen better days. And Sanders is almost 20 years younger than Marshall Allen!

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 15:10 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I got the Live At Montreux set finally cos I was in HonestJohn's just before Xmas.
I think it was the second thing I heard by them. So been meaning to pick it up for years.
I was looking at the 2cd compilation of the Detroit Jazz festival sets which I think had been released individually on Total Energy. Are they good.

Stevolende, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 15:22 (two weeks ago) Permalink

one of those sets (Life Is Splendid) might be the best live gig I've heard of theirs

sleeve, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 15:26 (two weeks ago) Permalink

we have the Detroit Jazz Center residency set. maybe i will join by listening to all 26 hours, 13 minutes, and 16 seconds of it along with you all.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 2 January 2018 15:35 (two weeks ago) Permalink

btw Lech, pick a day, gather the troops and let's all have a Chicago get together. At the least I'll be at Constellation this Saturday.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 15:41 (two weeks ago) Permalink

only if you promise to never call me that again ;)

gathering the troops is not my forte but i will deliver the message

we have probably already been in the same place at the same time a bunch of times!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 2 January 2018 15:58 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I said Detroit Jazz Festival and meant Ann Arbor, getting bits of Michigan confused.I have a version of the Detroit Jazz centre as flacs. Think some of it is pretty good. I think the version i have may be one that repeats and I haven't gone through all the folders or discs yet.

Stevolende, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 19:37 (two weeks ago) Permalink

there are 28 CDs!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 2 January 2018 19:40 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I was thinking it was 26 or s but couldn't remember exactly.
Think i did hear taht the semi legal version did accientally repeat bits across a few discs.

THe Ann Arbor festival thing is called Wake Up Angels in its compiled form and has a bandcamp page here
https://sunrastrut.bandcamp.com/album/wake-up-angels

Stevolende, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 19:45 (two weeks ago) Permalink

you all probably already saw this but:

Sun Ra in Chronological Order: An Arkestra Listening Thread + Related Solar Sounds

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 19:48 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I got myself the Exotica comp for christmas and it's been a blast. It's really nicely put together and great sounding. I'd like to know more about who's in control of Ra's estate now as it seems like all of a sudden there are zillions of new releases & reissues.

Scam jam, thank you ma’am (Sparkle Motion), Tuesday, 2 January 2018 22:16 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Irwin is!

kurt schwitterz, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 22:20 (two weeks ago) Permalink

i too got a copy of exotica! so great. it’s been obvious for awhile that exotica is a big influence on his work but it’s really fun to hear it all compiled in one place.

the late great, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 22:48 (two weeks ago) Permalink

i wonder how much of the influence was exotica-via-big-band (duke ellington's "caravan" e.g.)

or even this, from 1957:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTEmX1tHOVY

budo jeru, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 23:05 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Irwin is!

― kurt schwitterz, Tuesday, January 2, 2018 4:20 PM (six hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

at first i was like, bob irwin? that can't be right. and then i remembered irwin chusid, hence the interview link.

but then i was on the sun ra website (http://www.sunra.com/) and bob irwin gets a "thank you" at the bottom, so:

1. bob irwin is alive?

2. sundazed is involved w/ sun ra reissues?

budo jeru, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 04:37 (one week ago) Permalink

ohhh i see. sundazed is the parent company of modern harmonic. huh.

budo jeru, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 04:38 (one week ago) Permalink

thanks for the links- really cool. I'm so fascinated by how his music got preserved, maintained, and cared for. For someone so DIY and all over the place through every phase of his career, it seems like there should be hardly anything left, but instead there's scads of recordings & ephemera. It makes the sum total of Ra's work seem like all the more of a miraculous gift.

Scam jam, thank you ma’am (Sparkle Motion), Wednesday, 3 January 2018 17:56 (one week ago) Permalink


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