All in all, this concert offered a rich taste of the serious and light-hearted sides of the Sun Ra legacy and made clear his massive contribution to the musical vocabulary. Taken as a whole, the series of three events honoring Taylor, Coleman, and Sun Ra was a remarkable living demonstration of the richness of the jazz idiom when it breaks the bounds of convention and ventures into the stratosphere of new ideas and expressive possibilities. The audiences also contributed to the sense of magic and wonder. They listened attentively, immersed themselves in the experience, and showed great respect for the bands. Jazz at its best generates a powerful connection between the players, the music, and the audience, and throughout this series, many forces came together to create a truly expansive musical experience for all concerned.
Warriors of the Wonderful Sound: (All songs composed by Bobby Zankel except where noted): Spirits Break to Freedom; Trickster; Acknowledgment (from John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme," arr. Bobby Zankel); Next Time I See You.
Sun Ra Centennial Arkestra: (All songs by Sun Ra except where otherwise noted): Interplanetary Music; Saturn; Sunology; Blue Set (Marshall Allen); Discipline 27-II; This World Is Not My Home; Space Is The Place; Queer Notions (Coleman Hawkins; arr. Sun Ra); Cocktails For Two (Arthur Johnston and Sam Coslow); Angels & Demons at Play; Rocket Number 9; Untitled Improvisation (Marshall Allen); Fate In A Pleasant Mood; We Travel The Spaceways; Encore: Space Is The Place.
The Warriors of the Wonderful Sound, Bobby Zankel, alto sax, composer, and music director; Julian Pressley, alto saxophone; Elliot Levin, flute and tenor saxophone; Mark Allen, baritone saxophone; Stan Slotter, Josh Lawrence, trumpets; Steve Swell, John Swana, trombones; Tom Lawton, piano; Lee Smith, bass; Craig McIver, drums; Francois Zayas, percussion.
Sun Ra Centennial Arkestra: Tara Middleton, vocals; Marshall Allen, alto sax, flute, EVI, musical director; James Stewart, Charles Davis, tenor sax; Knoel Scott, alto sax; Danny Ray Thompson, baritone sax; Cecil Brooks , Kwami Hadi, Fred Adams, trumpet; Dave Davis, trombone; Farid Barron, keyboards; Elson Nascimento, surdo; Dave Hotep, electric guitar; Tyler Mitchell, bass; Wayne Smith, Jr., drums; Atakatune, congas; Teddy Thomas, percussion.
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me. As a life-long jazz lover, I eventually became a jazz educator and producer/host of a very popular jazz radio program in Los Angeles, California.
I love jazz because it is so free. I can think, feel, and dream to jazz, and it allows my mind to flow and expand, musically and otherwise. I also love jazz because it, much like other forms of music, allows opportunities to bring people from all walks of life together. What makes jazz more significant to me, though, is its historical significance; that is, how jazz served, in part, as a method of bringing communities together, a cultural/social/spiritual conduit.