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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

NEWS: BIRTHDAY

Jazz Musician of the Day: Sun Ra

Jazz Musician of the Day: Sun Ra

All About Jazz is celebrating Sun Ra's birthday today! 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 ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Matthew Shipp: Poetic Connection

Read "Matthew Shipp: Poetic Connection" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

It is difficult to describe the impact of pianist and composer Matthew Shipp without descending into hyperbole. A core figure in the now-legendary David S. Ware Quartet, a bandleader with a staggering recording output, a groundbreaking curator for the influential Blues Series of Thirsty Ear Records, Matthew Shipp has also more recently broken new ...

Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records: Ten High Altitude Albums

Read "Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records: Ten High Altitude Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Bob Thiele is best remembered for his years as the artistic director and house producer of Impulse!. He took over from founder producer Creed Taylor in 1961 and stayed with the label until 1969, when he left to run his own Flying Dutchman Records. Thiele's tenure at Impulse! was its most glorious period, when Thiele curated ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Agile Experiments: Alive In The Empire

Read "Alive In The Empire" reviewed by Ian Patterson

The clue is the name. Take a handful of musicians, place them in front of an audience and say “ready, steady go." Since starting Agile Experiments in 2015, multi-instrumentalist Dave De Rose has marshaled dozens of musicians for his sonic experiments, whereby small combos play entirely improvised one-hour gigs. Alive in the Empire, the fifth release ...

Drummers as Bandleaders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "Drummers as Bandleaders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Drummers have been key members of every band which has changed the course of jazz history, from Max Roach with Charlie Parker to Elvin Jones with John Coltrane and onwards. Yet drummers have been the leaders of a surprisingly small proportion of landmark bands themselves. Chick Webb in the 1920s was the first of the few. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Grid: Decomposing Force

Read "Decomposing Force" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

A lot of recognisable names and musical micro climes run through the blood and wires of this aggressive three. Jimi Hendrix, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, pure punk, death metal . . . need more? So, expect a hard, twisted, mad metal assault when you confront Decomposing Force, the second release of riotous pandemonium from ...

ARTICLE: 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 ...

Afrobeat: An Alternative Top Ten

Read "Afrobeat: An Alternative Top Ten" reviewed by Chris May

It would be hard if not impossible to compile an Afrobeat Top Ten which was not wholly made up of Fela Anikulapo Kuti albums. Such was Kuti's centrality in the creation and development of Afrobeat, such was the productivity of his recording career--his catalogue totals more than fifty albums, not counting reissues and compilations--and such was ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Heroes Are Gang Leaders: Artificial Happiness Button

Read "Artificial Happiness Button" reviewed by Mark Corroto

We can be pretty sure that in heaven the champion poet is heard saying, “I'm Gil Scott Heron and I approve of this message." The same can be said of the late Amiri Baraka whom the art, poetry and music troupe Heroes Are Gang Leaders was created to honor with their first release in 2014. What ...


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