Jazz Articles about Sun Ra


Album Review

Sun Ra: The Futuristic Sounds Of Sun Ra - 60th Anniversary Edition

Read "The Futuristic Sounds Of Sun Ra - 60th Anniversary Edition" reviewed by Doug Collette

Produced by Tom Wilson, the same man who also helmed recordings by the Mothers of Invention, Bob Dylan and the Velvet Underground, The Futuristic Sounds Of Sun Ra may belie its title when described as one of the most accessible titles in his lengthy discography. Nonetheless, like its concert companion piece, At Inter-Media Arts, April 1991 (Modern Harmonic, 2016), the relatively concise approach overseen by its famous studio supervisor can reasonably function as the gateway into that vast universe of ...


Radio & Podcasts

The Space Station Jazz Program

Read "The Space Station Jazz Program" reviewed by David Brown

In a time before astronauts and cosmonauts explored the space beyond our planet, jazz musicians were already there. In the '50s reference to space in album titles, graphics and song titles equated the music with the modern. This is still true today as space is a place for exploration in jazz. This week, let's jump around the Jazz Continuum and explore some space together. Playlist Thelonious Monk “Esistrophy (Theme)" from Live at the It Club-Complete (Columbia) 00:30 Dinah ...


Album Review

Sun Ra Arkestra: Nothing Is...Completed & Revisited

Read "Nothing Is...Completed & Revisited" reviewed by Chris May

The 1966 concert recording which comprises this album--here in a new, audio-improved edition—has travelled the discographical spaceways in what, when it comes to Sun Ra, is properly circuitous and confusing fashion. Eight tracks from it were scheduled for release by ESP-Disk in 1967 or 1968 as The Heliocentric Worlds Of Sun Ra Volume III, complete with a catalogue number (ESP 1046), but the release never happened. The same tracks were then issued by ESP as the LP Nothing Is in ...


Building a Jazz Library

Sun Ra: Ten Great AfroFuturist Albums

Read "Sun Ra: Ten Great AfroFuturist Albums" reviewed by Chris May

With one hundred and twenty five albums to his name, not including reissues, any attempt to compile a Sun Ra Top Ten is a pretty ludicrous endeavour. There is simply too much great music from which to choose and way too much to put to one side. So the honour roll which follows should be regarded not as The Sun Ra Top Ten but one of several. One thing that is indisputable, however, is that each of ...


Album Review

Sun Ra: Lanquidity (2 x CD Edition)

Read "Lanquidity (2 x CD Edition)" reviewed by Chris May

When it comes to Sun Ra, the elephant in the room--or perhaps the intergalactic space frigate orbiting your sound system--is how many musicians in the band were bombed out on acid during a typical recording session? By all accounts, Ra ran a tight spaceship and drugs, mind expanding or numbing, were strictly off limits. Then again, Frank Zappa was a similarly sober micro-manager, but bandmembers' memoirs have revealed what anyone with ears has suspected for decades: namely that weed and ...


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 ...


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 ...


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