Monday, September 26, 2016

A Sun Ra Discovery: Reel from Chicago in 1959 or 1960

Chicago, 1959 or '60. Details in due time.

Tracklist reads:
1 Rocket No 9 Take Off (Better Fidelity)
2 Bass & Flute
3 Travel The Spaceways
4 Strange
5 Headless Planet
6 Theme Of The Stargazers
7 Dreamville
8 Over The Rainbow

© 2001-2017 Sun Ra Arkive.

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 property 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...

© 2001-2017 Sun Ra Arkive.