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- Many previously unpublished photographs of Sun Ra and the Arkestra in Heliopolis Cairo 1971 and New York 1961 by Hartmut Geerken and Val Wilmer.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.
Distributed by Forced Exposure in the USA
Distributed by Art Yard in the UK