Saturday, June 6, 2009

Let the Sunshine In

Sun Ra, that is. You don't have to be insane to do jazz, but it might help. Herman Poole Blount, who I gather legally changed his name to Le Sony'r Ra, was pretty far out there. Sun Ra, as he styled himself in the musical world, claimed to be from Saturn. He really did. Whether he really believed that or not, he stuck to his story.

Sun Ra was clearly a composer and band leader of some genius. He recorded a lot of music, and experimented with a wide range of jazz subgenres. Most jazz fans know only his record The Helicentric Worlds of Sun Ra. This is unfortunate, because his best work (so far as I have sampled it) is Jazz in Silhouette. There is really some interesting stuff going on here. I am not a big band fan, but this gets me listening. Here is a sample:
Sun Ra and his Arkestra/Enlightenment/Jazz in Silhouette


  1. I became interested in Sun Ra a while ago when I stumbled upon an interview with Hans Mantel (bass-player and journalist), who admitted to be a fan of the Sun Ra Arkestra, especially John Gilmore. A quote from his interview: "The orchestra reguarly played swing-music by Fletcher Henderson. This shows that they know and have respect for the tradition." My personal favorite album by Sun Ra is "Space Is The Place".

    Also wanted to drop by to pass on some links to great jazz-videos I stumbled upon in the last couple of weeks:

    Groovin High:

    A Night in Tunisia:

    Jessica's Day:

    See you when I get there:


  2. André:

    I have been traveling and haven't had time to look up your links. But thanks for posting them, I look forward to the booty. Sun Ra is a lot of fun.