Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

8

Album Review

Sun Ra Arkestra: Heliocentric Worlds 1 & 2 Revisited

Read "Heliocentric Worlds 1 & 2 Revisited" reviewed by Chris May


Heliocentric Worlds 1 & 2 Revisited presents in their entirety, newly and luminously remastered, the two albums which on release by ESP Disk in 1965 led, if not to actual commercial breakthrough for Sun Ra—who had been recording, obscurely, under his own name since the late 1940s—then at least to a heightened level of visibility for him and his music in the burgeoning transatlantic counterculture. Ra was no more an acid-tripping psych bandleader than was Frank Zappa; both musicians were ...

8

Radio & Podcasts

Size Matters: (Mostly New) Jazz for Big Bands and Orchestras, Part 1

Read "Size Matters: (Mostly New) Jazz for Big Bands and Orchestras, Part 1" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


More is not always necessarily better, especially in music. However, the proliferation of remarkable jazz big bands and orchestras of the last decade or so is providing plenty of material to prove that quality and quantity can go hand-in-hand. This week we focus on recent releases by some of the most compelling large ensembles around, the exception-to-the-rule being a few older albums that fit with the forward-looking tenor of this music. Happy listening! PlaylistBen Allison Mondo ...

21

Just For Fun

Sinatra In Vegas With Sun Ra Discovery

Read "Sinatra In Vegas With Sun Ra Discovery" reviewed by Arthur R George


Atomic! Sun Ra and Frank Sinatra at The Sands, a previously unknown 1966 recording of the Intergalactic Navigator onstage with The Chairman of the Board, was released today in a joint venture by Blue Note and Mobile Fidelity. “We didn't know if it was real when we first found these recordings. Had we been had? Or did we have what we thought we had? Was it really what it was?," Don Was, president of Blue Note, wondered about his first ...

6

Album Review

Sun Ra Arkestra: Live In Kalisz 1986

Read "Live In Kalisz 1986" reviewed by Ian Patterson


In December 1986, the Sun Ra Arkestra performed at the 13th International Jazz Piano Festival in Kalisz. The Arkestra was making its first ever appearance in Poland and the historic occasion was duly recorded for posterity. The tapes, however, languished in a basement, unloved and forgotten, until they were unearthed over three decades later. Thanks to vinyl specialists Lanquidity Records, they have been remastered and released—on striking yellow vinyl—for the first time. The sound quality isn't always perfect—a couple of ...

11

Book Review

Space Is The Place: The Lives And Times Of Sun Ra

Read "Space Is The Place: The Lives And Times Of Sun Ra" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Space Is The Place: The Lives And Times Of Sun Ra John F. Szwed 512 Pages ISBN: 978-1-4780-0841-5 Duke University Press 2020 Of all the 20th century jazz figures, perhaps only John Coltrane and Miles Davis have achieved greater cult status than Sun Ra. Unlike Coltrane, Ra lived into old age. And unlike both Coltrane and Davis, Ra is not usually credited with pioneering or leading new directions in jazz. Ra's fame had ...

5

Album Review

Sun Ra And His Astro Infinity Arkestra: Pathways To Unknown Worlds

Read "Pathways To Unknown Worlds" reviewed by Ian Patterson


To make sense of Sun Ra's teeming discography would require a forensic sensibility. The Alabaman's output was vast, reissues on multiple labels numerous, and the provenance of much of his studio work--the dates, location, personnel etc—is often uncertain. This reissue of Pathways to Unknown Worlds, first released in 1975 on ABC/Impulse!, is a case in point. It's not the first CD reissue of Pathways to Unknown Worlds. In 2000, Evidence released a version that included an untitled five ...

6

Jazz Raconteurs

Sun Ra's Journey To Moers

Read "Sun Ra's Journey To Moers" reviewed by Greg Drusdow


This story first appeared in the 1996 Moers Jazz Festival program. For those who attended the Moers Festival in 1979, they should remember the closing show of the last night as being one of the most exceptional events in the Moers Festival history--the night the Sun Ra Arkestra landed there. Getting Sun Ra to bring the Arkestra was quite a challenge to festival organizer and impresario Burkhard Hennen, since at the Moers Festival in 1978 he ...


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