Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Sun Ra: Monorails & Satellites: Works For Solo Piano Vols. 1, 2, 3

Read "Monorails & Satellites: Works For Solo Piano Vols. 1, 2, 3" reviewed by John Ephland

Sun Ra as a pianist could be in your parlor, entrancing you with all manner of wistfulness, star-gazing, even a dash of the down-and-dirty via some dusty blues or off-kilter, angular, jagged afterthoughts. In this two-disc solo piano set, the nine selections that make up disc two bring it all back home, the music coalescing in sometimes strange and wonderful ways that, perhaps, give a more intimate look into the man's musical heart. Ending with an at-times dreamy then jaunty, ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Sun Ra: God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be

Read "God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Herman Poole Blount, contrary to some urban myths, didn't claim to be born on the planet Saturn but had purportedly been transported there--and back--in his teens. A life shrouded in mystery, it isn't entirely clear when Blount became Sun Ra but it's estimated to be in the early 1940s when he was active on the Chicago jazz scene. Ra was a prodigy, playing piano and composing before he was in his teens. In his lifetime, he released sixty-eight studio albums ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Sun Ra: Space Is The Place

Read "Space Is The Place" reviewed by James Fleming

He was a solar flare, a surge of energy that rocketed across great distances and divides, bestowing all he encountered with unforgettable memories and disrupting radio transmissions. Science-fiction, transcendentalism, and jazz coalesced in the being called Sun Ra. A radical concoction, sky-bound and heaven-sent. Ra's music was always stratospheric, always reaching above and beyond. His constant striving resulted in an abundance of stellar records. But as a sonic statement and philosophical manifesto, 1973's Space Is The Place stands ...


ENGAGE

Enter our contest giveaways

Contest Giveaways

Win a chance at the VMP Anthology: The Story of Herbie Hancock (8 albums / 11 LPs)! One click entry.

Contest Guidelines

Reader's Poll: Which cities worldwide are tops in presenting jazz? Let us know.

Top Jazz Cities Poll

Which cities worldwide are tops in presenting jazz? Let us know—select up to ten.

More Polls

Publisher's Desk

More blast from our past: Jazz Backstage. Read on.

MORE POSTS

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.