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MUSICIAN Born:

Sun Ra

Eclectic, outrageous, sometimes mystifying but always imbued with a powerful jazz consciousness, the music of Sun Ra has withstood its skeptics and detractors for nearly three generations. And well it should, since Sun Ra has been both apart of and ahead of the jazz tradition during that time. Like Duke Ellington and swing-era pioneer Fletcher Henderson, Sun Ra learned early on to write music in an arranged form that showcased the specific talents of his individual Arkestra members, and he has retained the services of some of these musicians to this day: John Gilmore, Marshall Allen, and Julian Priester for example since they first joined in the 1950's

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Hal Willner's Rock 'n' Rota

Read "Hal Willner's Rock 'n' Rota" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." Anyone who has ever been at an all-star event--especially if that was a tribute concert--has learned the importance of Aristotle's maxim the hard way. Maybe the occasion was momentous, the cast probably star-studded, the heart certainly in the right place and the expectations high... however, at ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Sun Ra And His Astro-Ihnfinity Arkestra: Sun Embassy

Read "Sun Embassy" reviewed by Mark Corroto

I know what you're thinking, the world doesn't need another Sun Ra record. You don't need another Sun Ra record. With a discography swelling monthly, sometimes weekly, I often think when will it end? Then, once back in my right mind, I rejoice to find some tasty unreleased material from a very fertile period in Herman ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Julian Priester: Reflections in Positivity

Read "Julian Priester: Reflections in Positivity" reviewed by Paul Rauch

My task for the day was to interview legendary trombonist/composer, and jazz icon, Julian Priester. We had met a few times over my 35 years of frequenting the jazz scene in Seattle, coinciding with Priester's years teaching at the esteemed Cornish College of the Arts. In anticipation, I had spent nearly two months preparing, reacquainting myself ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

John McLaughlin's American Farewell Tour with Jimmy Herring

Read "John McLaughlin's American Farewell Tour with Jimmy Herring" reviewed by Alan Bryson

Nearly five decades have passed since John McLaughlin set foot in America as a relatively unknown musician to join the fusion band Lifetime, with the great drummer Tony Williams and equally great organist Larry Young. Two days later he was in the studio with Miles Davis recording In a Silent Way. The breadth and scope of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dave Soldier: The Eighth Hour Of Amduat

Read "The Eighth Hour Of Amduat" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Let's be honest, this extraordinary recording isn't going to float everyone's boat. However, there are a lot of highly praiseworthy elements to be assimilated in this hour long CD. Dave Soldier (real name Dr. Dave Sulzer, a neuroscientist at Columbia University) has assembled an avant-garde jazz opera based on the oldest known musical score (the 8th ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Calling Ra, Mr. Sun Ra your rocket ship is ready

Read "Calling Ra, Mr. Sun Ra your rocket ship is ready" reviewed by Mark Corroto

How prophetic is it that we now live in the second century of Sun Ra's earthly existence? Born (maybe) in Alabama 1914, Herman Poole Blount became the pianist, arranger, band leader, poet, and can we say prophet(?) we know as Sun Ra. He was both a man of his times and a messenger from the space. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jason Stein/Paul Giallorenzo/Frank Rosaly: Hearts & Minds

Read "Hearts & Minds" reviewed by Mark Corroto

When the Chicago trio of Jason Stein, Paul Giallorenzo, and Frank Rosaly, known as Hearts & Minds, plays music Sun Ra smiles from somewhere interplanetary. Not that the mighty Ra favored small groups, he mostly worked with his large Arkestra, rather, it's that the wellspring for this 21st century music are his concepts and instrumentation. Sun ...

Montreux Through The Decades: Jazz Recordings, Part One

Read "Montreux Through The Decades: Jazz Recordings, Part One" reviewed by Ian Patterson

To celebrate Montreux Jazz Festival's 50th edition in 2016, and as a posthumous tribute to the festival's founder, the late Claude Nobs, All About Jazz is launching a new column entitled Montreux Through the Decades, which will periodically present reviews of officially released live recordings from MJF, from its first edition in 1967 to the present. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Sun Ra & His Astro-Ihnfinity Arkestra: The Intergalactic Thing

Read "The Intergalactic Thing" reviewed by Mark Corroto

If you are a Sun Ra devotee, let's not use the terms “fanatic" or “zealot," you probably measure your collection in board feet instead of inches. Unlike many jazz legends of the 1950s, and 1960s, Herman Sonny Blount had the foresight to record his ensemble's rehearsals and concerts. He even established his own label El Saturn ...