Monday, January 16, 2012

Sound Colour Vibration Blog Interview with Michael Ray of the Sun Ra Arkestra

Here's an excerpt:

Q: You are on the late 70′s album “Strange Celestial Road” and the title pieces has one of my favorite trumpet solo sections on any Ra recording. The album was recorded at Variety Recording Studio, New York in 1979, do you remember the sessions for this album vividly?

A: The Variety recording studio sessions was one of the best!! We were able to produce at least 6 or 7 albums from that one date! I learned a lot during that time about different ways to record Ra. He was always creating and was a first take musician. During the mix down of one song, Sun Ra fell asleep. After setting the mixing board up for a take, I asked Sun Ra how did it sound. He said “It sounds horrible” and went back to sleep. We spent over an hour resetting the board. When he woke up I asked again and he told me ” Michael you’re into the earth thing, give me the phone”.  He then called Danny Thompson in Philadelphia and instructed him to go into the chaos room and bring a trunk full of quarter inch tapes to the studio. When they arrived we began to go through over 50 tapes until he selected one to fly into the track. If you listen carefully you can hear it on “I’ll Wait For You”. Also from that session we recorded a quartet setting with Samari on drums, Victor Sproles on bass and Gilmore and Ra. Truly fantastic. I believe this was the longest session we had ever done.

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