Brilliant band! I love the keyboard player – he really gets Sun Ra’s love of stride piano playing. Surprisingly, as well, the group is playing here without a bassist. In all, though, this is a great performance.
This is a great album, only released in 2014. It includes alternate recordings of tunes recorded and released elsewhere, representing the best of what Marshall Allen has dug out of the vast, legendary archive. Long live Marshall Allen! Long live Sun Ra!
Source: Sun Ra Discography at Discogs
This is a decent discography of Sun Ra’s recorded works, but it still doesn’t approach the detail of Robert Campbell’s The Earthly Recordings of Sun Ra. At several hundred pages, it is an essential resource for any researcher or fan of Sun Ra’s music, full of session info, musicians’ credits, copyright info, etc., all indexed according to compositions, recordings, and musicians. Great stuff to geek out on.
This is a fascinating performance. Sun Ra with Marshall Allen, John Gilmore, Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, Philly Jo Jones, and most of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. This is textural free jazz. When Sun Ra’s piano comes in it’s thrilling. What a fantastic free piano player. I love this.
What do you do when you know that you know,
that you know that you’re wrong?
You’ve got to face the music,
you’ve got to listen to the cosmos song.
Two of my very favorite Sun Ra tunes on a show from the late 80s that I remember well. Check out David Sanborn. Very 80s hair and glasses.
Sun Ra himself sounds in great form. I love the fact that his comping is fairly old school even while his music is our-there avant garde. This is an inspiring performance for me.
I love this tune, though I have heard another version I don’t like so much. I think this tune would work really well as a bossa nova. Great, simple chord changes.
Sun Ra’s stride piano playing from 1946. This is early R&B with stop-time figures, driving bass, big-band-style comping, and tasty improv. Sometimes I lose sight of just how good Sun Ra was as a piano player. Later in his career some of his playing seems almost sloppy, even given that he often incorporated free playing into his compositions. This tune is tight, for sure.
Check out this article about Sun Ra. It’s a pretty good rundown.
It’s a motherfucker
It’s a motherfucker
Don’t you know
If they push that button
Your ass has got to go
And what are you going to do
Without your ass?
John Gilmore! What a great tenor player. He sounds like a slightly smoothened Coltrane, repeating himself with minor alterations until he has exhausted a particular line’s logic.
Not much of a composition composition – there is no real arrangement other than some stop-time figures and some free improv. The lyrics really drive the tune, leading to a big “All aboard!” – a train headed for Saturn.
Great fun live, I would imagine. This tune is part of the space chant performed on the Live in London album, strung together with a bunch of other tunes for one swinging medley of celebratory non-chaos.