Why Is Sun Ra Suddenly Having His Moment?

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Tone Weaver
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Why Is Sun Ra Suddenly Having His Moment?

Postby Tone Weaver » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:36 pm

I know there are a few Ra fans around here. For the rest of you, there’s no better time to discover the Astro-cosmic musical wonder of the 20th Century.

From Rolling Stone:

“Why Is Sun Ra Suddenly Having His Moment?"

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/featu ... th-w508030

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In August, thanks to DJ and historian Irwin Chusid, exclusive administrator for Sun Ra LLC since 2014, Ra's albums went up on beloved digital music store Bandcamp.

"I compared Sun Ra to the Grateful Dead in the sense that wherever he went, there were people in the audience with recording devices, capturing the performance and swapping tapes and putting out unauthorized pressings," says Chusid. "And these days, putting them online. And then they followed Sun Ra around the way Deadheads would follow the Dead around. Very similar. Of course, long concerts, long jams, never the same performance twice. Always unpredictable. In that sense, Sun Ra and the Grateful Dead, there's some comparisons to be made there."


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The other obvious comparison between the Grateful Dead and Sun Ra is their fondness for space-themed music and expanding sonic boundaries.

We’re on the spaceship Earth, destination unknown. Space is the Place in the Omniverse of Sun Ra. Sign up for Outerspaceways Incorporated.

The journey is yours to take at Bandcamp.

https://sunramusic.bandcamp.com/

Some favorites of mine: (MOST of the 150-odd albums are fantastic.)

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Jazz In Silhouette – A good place to start. A more Earth-bound masterpiece from 1958. I mean masterpiece, too.

Cosmic Tones For Mental Therapy and Other Planes Of There – These are the incredible early ‘60’s space launches. Yes, there will be space, and drums too.

Holiday For Soul Dance- An accessible 1970 album of some familiar standards with Ra’s flavorful spin.

Omniverse – A great set of small group sessions from 1979.

Space Is The Place (The album, in addition to the album of the 1974 movie soundtrack.)

Mayan Temples - Ra is back on acoustic piano in 1990 for one more masterpiece.

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So “Why Is Sun Ra Suddenly Having His Moment?”

First, it's not just his "moment".

Second, because he told us this is the future he always played for. His music is built to last. It's high time humankind caught on.

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