Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sun Ra Arkestra 60th Anniversary World Tour Update via Greg Drusdow

The Sun Ra Arkestra Directed by Marshall Allen continues its 60th Anniversary World Tour today by starting its first 2016 European tour with a sold out performance at Union Chapel in London, England, continuing on to Band on the Wall in England April 15, headlining the All Tomorrow's Parties Festival in North Wales April 17, followed by two Spain shows in Madrid and Barcelona on April 18 & 19 respectively. The Arkestra will travel the spaceways for its fifth visitation to Japan on May 4 at the Worldwide Session 2016 followed by a sold out performance in Brooklyn, NY on May 8. Then, the band's second 2016 European tour takes off May 10 - 20 with shows in Italy, England, Austria, and Turkey.

The Vision Festival has invited the Arkestra back again to headline its festivities at the Judson Memorial Church venue in Greenwich Village, NYC on June 8. The schedule for the summer will continue with a headlining appearance at the Beacon Jazz Festival in Beacon, NY June 25 and two concerts in Chicago, IL at the Constellation and at the Pitchfork Festival July 16 & 17 respectively.

The 60th Anniversary of the Sun Ra Arkestra continues to be celebrated across the planet with Arkestra concerts, panels, lectures, film retrospectives, and other events that recognize the impact of the band on the sound and evolution of avant garde jazz. One notable event will happen June 5 at the Anthology Film Archives in New York, NY where three Sun Ra films ("Space Is The Place", "The Magic Sun", and "A Joyful Noise") will be screened.

Marshall Allen, as Musical Director of the Arkestra, is now in his 58th year of continuous activity within the Arkestra. Marshall has been in the Sun Ra Arkestra 21 years longer than Sun Ra himself - an incredible achievement.

The current concert itinerary of the Sun Ra Arkestra Directed by Marshall Allen is:

April 14, 2016 - Union Chapel, London, England. Show at 8:45 pm is SOLD OUT.

April 15, 2016 - Band on the Wall, Manchester, England. Doors at 7:30 pm with Show at 8:00 pm.

April 17, 2016 - Holiday Center, All Tomorrow's Parties Festival, Prestatyn, North Wales.

April 18, 2016 - Teatro Lara, Madrid, Spain. Show at 10:30 pm.

April 19, 2016 - Sala Apolo, Barcelona, Spain. Show at 8:30 pm.

April 23, 2016 - Private Event, Philadelphia, PA.

May 4, 2016 - Studio Coast, Worldwide Session 2016, Tokyo, Japan. Showtime TBA.

May 8, 2016 - Greenpoint Terminal, Red Bull Music Academy Festival, Brooklyn, NY. Show at 7:00 pm is SOLD OUT.

May 10, 2016 - Blue Note Milano, Milano, Italy. Show at 9:00 pm.

May 11-12, 2016 - Raindogs House, Savona, Italy. Shows at 10:00 pm.

May 13, 2016 - Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Norwich, England. Show at 8:00 pm.

May 17, 2016 - Porgy & Bess, Vienna, Austria. Show at 8:30 pm.

May 20, 2016 - Tower of Uchisar, Cappadocia, Turkey. Show at 8:00 pm.

June 8, 2016 - Vision Festival, New York, NY. Show at 9:40 pm.

June 25, 2016 - Pete & Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park, Beacon Jazz Festival, Beacon, NY. Showtime TBA.

July 16, 2016 - Constellation, Chicago, IL. Showtime TBA.

July 17, 2016 - Pitchfork Festival, Chicago, IL. Showtime TBA.

The 2016 Sun Ra Arkestra Directed by Marshall Allen 60th Anniversary World Tour dates continue to be in support of the "Babylon Live" CD release on the In + Out Records label. This CD was recorded live at the Babylon club in Istanbul, Turkey on May 21, 2014 during the first of four 2014 Sun Ra Centennial Arkestra European tours. DL Media is handling all publicity and coordination for this CD release. Details are available at:

For additional details on all of the above appearances, please click on the "Tourdates" tab of the Sun Ra Arkestra website and then click on the weblinks for the applicable concert date. Booking information for the Sun Ra Arkestra Directed by Marshall Allen is available by clicking on the "Info" tab of the Sun Ra Arkestra website, which is located at:

Friday, April 15, 2016

Sun Ra LLC/Sun Ra Music Archive releases as of April 15, 2016

Straight from Sun Ra LLC's Irwin Chusid we have a state of the union update on all of the Sun Ra LLC/Sun Ra Music Archive releases issued and/or remastered as of April 15, 2016.

- The record label is ENTERPLANETARY KONCEPTS, period. 
- Anything tagged "MFiT" means Mastered for iTunes, indicating it was remastered from tape by Michael Anderson and Irwin Chusid. 
- The other titles were remastered from vinyl or a combination of tape and vinyl. 
- These titles are currently not available as hi-res downloads, only m4a (iTunes) and mp3 (all other digital retailers). 
- Sun Ra LLC/Sun Ra Music Archive is currently working on vinyl (and possibly CD) reissues of many catalog titles thru Virtual.
- Non-catalog vinyl releases are forthcoming in 2016 via Sundazed Records Modern Harmonic imprint.

Angels and Demons At Play 
Antique Blacks
Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow
Astro Black 
Aurora Borealis [solo piano] (non-MFiT)
Bad and Beautiful 
Beyond the Purple Star Zone
Celestial Love
Continuation Vol. 1
Continuation Vol. 2
Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy 
Dance of Innocent Passion (non-MFiT)
Fate in a Pleasant Mood 
Fireside Chat with Lucifer
God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be (non-MFiT)
Holiday for Soul Dance 
I Roam the Cosmos
Inter-Media Arts 1991
Interstellar Low Ways 
Invisible Shield 
Jazz by Sun Ra (non-MFiT)
Jazz in Silhouette 
Magic City (full stereo)
Monorails and Satellites Vol. 1
Monorails and Satellites Vol. 2 (non-MFiT)
My Brother the Wind Vol. 1
My Brother the Wind Vol. 2
New Steps (non-MFiT)
Night of the Purple Moon
Nubians of Plutonia 
Oblique Parallax (non-MFiT)
Omniverse (non-MFiT)
Other Planes of There 
Other Side of the Sun (non-MFiT)
Other Voices, Other Blues (non-MFiT)
Paris 1983
Pit-Inn 8-8-88
Ra to the Rescue
Secrets of the Sun
Solo Piano, Venice 1977 (non-MFiT)
Some Blues But Not the Kind That's Blue
Soul Vibrations of Man
Sound Sun Pleasure 
Strange Strings 
Sub Underground #1
Sun Ra Visits Planet Earth 
Supersonic Jazz
Universe in Blue 
Voice of the Eternal Tomorrow (non-MFiT)
We Travel the Spaceways 
When Sun Comes Out

Sun Ra Dreams: Unknown LPs

It's 3:25 am. I was just woken from a Sun Ra dream. I'm sure if you're a fan like me that you've had them too. There's so much myth, legend, mystery and imagination in Sun Ra land that dreams just come with the territory.

I was wandering a city alone, in despair. Something terrible had just happened in my personal life. The city, though it didn't really look like it, was Seattle. A familiar neighborhood I've visited in my dreams before. I know there's a record store around here, sometimes I can find it, sometimes I can't. I find it, and end up in the basement immediately - the forgotten, fringe treasures. There are millions of fluorescent lit records down here, and as if by attraction or perception, I immediately find the Sun Ra LP section. There's about 50-60 albums in the cardboard box - all beautiful and varied vintage covers on different labels and in different styles. I start flipping through them. Other than "Interstellar Low Ways" I've never seen any of the cover designs in waking reality, but in my dream they are all familiar to me. Exciting, but still known. Until I flip to the back of the stack and see something I've never seen - in dream or awake. I speak an expletive in amazement. There's 2 copies of this album - both have cryptic handwriting on small labels instead of prices, so they must be more rare and expensive than I can afford - I'm assuming over $1,000 usd. The album is released under the name Sun Ra and was recorded in the 50s on the MGM label. The title is "The Garden," and it is an instrumental soundtrack to Disney's "The Lion King." (Yes, I know it wasn't a Disney propert back then.) I imagine that the earthy primal space funk of the "Angels and Demons at Play/Nubians of Plutonia" records would be a perfect match for the subject matter. The cover is an abstract impressionistic pastel illustration of a lion in the jungle in blue, green, purple, and gold. A search of Google on my phone shows that this LP is out-of-print and has never been reissued, other than a bootleg CD from Europe sourced from a needle drop of the LP. I hold the record in my hand, flip it over and start to inspect the titles and liner notes as a group of school kids comes down a nearby hall. I look up, my cat jumps on my back, and I awake.

Tell me about your Sun Ra dreams in the comments section below...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Expanded version of rare Omniverse Sun Ra book due from Art Yard on 10/11/2015

After being out-of-print for about almost 20 years, the rare - and at the time definitive - book Omniverse Sun Ra by Hartmut Geerken and Chris Trent is being published by Art Yard on 10/11/2015.

 The original book was printed in what I assume was a relatively small run, and at the time cost a hefty $100 USD, which meant this young freak couldn't afford one. My Sun Ra mentor Richard Segan had a copy, and it was always a treat to look at his copy when I visited. Even then, it seemed like a rare treasure - to be handled gently, to be absorbed carefully...

It was an incredible book then, and still is to this day.

For the past 10 years or so it has commanded insane prices on the secondary market, and the author said it would never be reprinted. So what a welcome joy and relief to hear that this essential Sun Ra volume will be released again, as an expanded and revised hardback 304 page edition!

From Art Yard:

Twenty years after its first publication, ART YARD are proud to present the fully revised 2nd edition of Hartmut Geerken’s long unobtainable Omniverse – Sun Ra, a definitive hitch-hiker’s guide to the Sun Ra galaxy.

The new, completely revised edition features:

- Many previously unpublished photographs of Sun Ra and the Arkestra in Heliopolis Cairo 1971 and New York 1961 by Hartmut Geerken and Val Wilmer.
- A fully revised discography by Chris Trent, co-author of The Earthly Recordings of Sun Ra including: Comprehensive pictorial and annotated discography, chronological discography and alphabetical record title, composition, personnel and record label indexes. Shellac Records,78RPM indexes, 45 RPM Singles indexes. Jackets and Labels indexes. new full colour images of hundreds of Sun Ra album covers, posters, handbills and ephemera and reproductions of rare hand drawn LP sleeves.
- articles by Geerken, Amiri Baraka, Chris Cutler, Robert L. Campbell, Salah Ragab, Sigrid Hauff, Robert Lax and others
- Hardback Portrait 304 Pages. French fold cover.

For five decades, Sun Ra brightened planet Earth with his unique, provocative and esoteric musical philosophy. Touring the world with his formidable Arkestra, he represented and affirmed a new vision of Black history and culture, embodied and spread a new and powerfully influential Black philosophy, and revolutionised music with sounds from beyond the purple star zone.

Ra accepted no limitation imposed on him by earthly powers: his vista was the universe, his travel was interplanetary, his music borne along the spaceways as he delivered messages of light to a sleeping world. Now more than ever, the value and radicalism of his protean musical inventiveness, his socially collective self-determination, and his philosophical and poetic profundity can be seen. Where Ra went, we are slowly going, and we will find his message for us waiting there. The new edition of Omniverse – Sun Ra is a major contribution to Sun Ra studies, and a dazzling overview of its subjects astonishingly productive career on Earth - the definitive companion to the many worlds of Sun Ra.

ISBN: 978-0-9933514-0-2
Distributed by Forced Exposure in the USA
Distributed by Art Yard in the UK


Saturday, November 22, 2014

NEW RELEASE: Sun Ra - The Night Of The Purple Moon

19700000 RLC2 163 The Night of the Purple Moon [2014 Remaster Thoth Intergalactic IR 1972] New York, NY

THE NIGHT OF THE PURPLE MOON, recorded in 1970, features Sun Ra playing two electronic keyboards that were popular with psychedelic bands: the Rocksichord and the Minimoog. Ra used them to explore the sonic possibilities with futuristic music. Yet listening to Purple Moon, there's a sense that after a decade of experimentalism and free jazz, Sun Ra wanted to make an accessible pop record. 

Remastered edition with unreleased bonus tracks just released via iTunes:

Side A: 
Sun-Earth Rock (Ra) 
The All of Everything (Ra) 
Impromptu Festival (Ra) 
Blue Soul (Ra) 
Narrative (Ra) 
Outside the Time Zone (Ra) 

Side B: 
The Night of the Purple Moon (Ra) 
A Bird's Eye View of Man's World (Ra) 
21st Century Romance (Ra) 
Dance of the Living Image (Ra) 
Love in Outer Space (Ra) 

Ra-two Mini-Moog's, rocksichord; John Gilmore-d, ts; Danny Davis-as, acl, fl, cga, d; Stafford James-eb. Probably New York, 1970

19700000 RLC2 163 The Night of the Purple Moon [2014 Remaster Thoth Intergalactic IR 1972] New York, NY
19700000 RLC2 163 The Night of the Purple Moon [2014 Remaster Thoth Intergalactic IR 1972] New York, NY

19700000 RLC2 163 The Night of the Purple Moon [2014 Remaster Thoth Intergalactic IR 1972] New York, NY
19700000 RLC2 163 The Night of the Purple Moon [2014 Remaster Thoth Intergalactic IR 1972] New York, NY