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Ronnie Boykins

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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 ...

Album Review

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

Read "Nothing Is... Completed & Revisited" reviewed by Maurizio Comandini

L'etichetta svizzera Ezz-thetics sta facendo un lavoro eccellente con capolavori degli anni sessanta riproposti in edizione da loro stessi definita 'revisited' che cerca di fare ordine e chiarezza anche su momenti un po' dimenticati che meritano di essere riscoperti e pienamente apprezzati. Tutto questo è ancora più necessario quando ci troviamo alle prese con la discografia di Sun Ra, uno dei primi artisti a scegliere di auto-prodursi con la mitica etichetta Saturn, piena di episodi memorabili ma ...

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 ...

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 ...

Album Review

New York Contemporary Five: Consequences Revisited

Read "Consequences Revisited" reviewed by Mark Corroto

This 2020 reissue of the New York Contemporary Five recordings from 1963-64 can't help but draw one's attention to the social unrest occurring in America in 2020. In 1964 the riots in Harlem and Philadelphia over police brutality were followed by similar riots a few years later in Watts, Newark, Detroit, etc. In the growing civil unrest these recordings were born. The New Thing was the equivalent to what Chuck D of Public Enemy claimed when he said rap music ...

Album Review

Ronnie Boykins: The Will Come, Is Now

Read "The Will Come, Is Now" reviewed by Lyn Horton

Ronnie Boykins, who died in 1980, was the bassist of the original Sun Ra Arkestra. According to author/photographer Valerie Wilmer, he was a key player and inspired the formation of much of the Arkestra's music. Trained by Sun Ra to think in terms of tones instead of notes (according to Ra's biographer, John Swzed), Boykins' music echoes the Arkestra sensibility, evident in the re-release of the original 1975 The Will Come, Is Now.

Boykins is both leader and composer on ...

Album Review

Ronnie Boykins: The Will Come, Is Now

Read "The Will Come, Is Now" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Ronnie Boykins is probably best known for being a member of the Sun Ra Arkestra. During that time, the Arkestra made some of its best recordings and Boykins was an integral part of the equation. He integrated his relationship with Sun Ra to gear the forward movement of the music. In his individual contributions on the bass he gave the instrument an underlying voice in developing the thematic concept through his choice of notes, the use of arco and his ...

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