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

ALBUM REVIEW

Sun Ra Arkestra: Seductive Fantasy

Read "Seductive Fantasy" reviewed by Ian Patterson

It seems entirely fitting that “Seductive Fantasy," the single from the Sun Ra Arkestra's first studio album in twenty years, should be a reworking of an old song, one that dates back over forty years to On Jupiter (El Saturn, 1979). With Sun Ra it was ever thus; old is new and new is old. The original “Seductive Fantasy" was a sprawling, seventeen-minute affair that morphed from loose groove and extended soloing into increasingly abstract, and almost arrhythmic terrain. Significantly ...

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 ...

LIVE REVIEW

Vilnius Jazz 2019

Read "Vilnius Jazz 2019" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Vilnius Jazz 2019 Russian Drama Theatre jny:Vilnius, Lithuania October 16-20, 2019 Is a jazz festival primarily about entertainment, or is it meant to challenge the expectations of its audience? Does programming risk mean financial suicide? What responsibility does a festival have to promote young, emerging talent? What place do women have in jazz today? How does jazz benefit from collaborations with other art forms? Does jazz carry a diplomatic passport, or should its practitioners ...

LIVE REVIEW

Sun Ra Arkestra At The San Francisco Jazz Festival

Read "Sun Ra Arkestra At The San Francisco Jazz Festival" reviewed by Harry S. Pariser

Sun Ra Arkestra SFJAZZ San Francisco Jazz Festival San Francisco, California July 18 and 21, 2019 Jazz has a storied history of hosting any number of iconoclasts. But few can compete with the late Sun Ra for sheer brazen originality and prodigious recorded output. The man born as Herman Blount (1914-1993) was an Arkansas-born pianist, synthesizer player, composer and bandleader. Blount also maintained that he was from Saturn and had a following of acolyte ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Sun Ra Arkestra Under the Direction of Marshall Allen: Babylon

Read "Babylon" reviewed by Mark Corroto

If the recording Babylon is any indication, the second century of Sun Ra's music will be as entertaining as the first hundred years. Recorded live at Istanbul's Babylon Club in 2014, the full effect of Sun Ra's Arkestra is captured in all its glory with this CD and bonus DVD recording. The Arkestra has been under the direction of nonagenarian Marshall Allen since Sun Ra's death in 1993. Allen, an alto saxophonist and sideman to Ra since the ...

LIVE REVIEW

Sun Ra Arkestra at the Victoria Theater

Read "Sun Ra Arkestra at the Victoria Theater" reviewed by Harry S. Pariser

Sun Ra Arkestra Victoria TheaterSan Francisco, CAAugust 3, 2013A line of jazz fans snaked around the block from the front of the iconic Victoria Theater, centrally located on 16th Street in the heart of San Francisco's Mission District, halfway down Capp Street. The crowd spanned age, gender and race; the buzz remained palpable despite the fact that the parents the majority of ticket holders would not have even met all those decades ago when the ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Sun Ra Arkestra: Live At The Paradox

Read "Live At The Paradox" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Few groups have travelled as far--cosmically and musically--as the Sun Ra Arkestra. While Ra's Saturnian schtick brought him great attention and notoriety, his music goes well beyond that one area. The roots of swing, bop-leaning sounds, extra-terrestrial experimentalism and free jazz of the most ferocious kind are all part of Ra's repertoire. Ra departed planet Earth in 1993, but the Arkestra soldiered on under the direction of longtime saxophonist John Gilmore. When Gilmore passed away in 1995, ...


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