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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 ...

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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, ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Sun Ra: Of Abstract Dreams

Read "Of Abstract Dreams" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Neither Sun Ra's death nor the passing of a quarter of a century since has slowed down the seemingly insatiable appetite for archival recordings of the pianist, composer and poet. In 2014, to mark the centenary of Sun Ra's birth--né Herman Poole Blount--Strut Records and Art Yard issued the 2-CD, career-spanning compilation In The Orbit of Ra. This was followed by Planets of Life and Death (2015), a previously unreleased live recording from 1973 in Amiens, France, Some Far Place ...

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Sun Ra: God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be

Read "God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be" reviewed by Chris May

Sun Ra is best known for the extensive archive of recordings he made with his Arkestra, and most Ra enthusiasts are probably first attracted to his work by the sui generis imagination he brought to arranging for large ensembles. These span the recalibrated swing-band tropes of Jazz In Silhouette (Saturn, 1959), a perfect choice for an advanced-level Blindfold Test, through off-planet takes on exotica such as those compiled on the previously reviewed Exotica (Modern Harmonic, 2018), and on to such ...


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