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Sun Ra

Sun Ra

39 articles

Audio interviews

Sun Ra (1991)

Interview by Mark Dery, Rock's Backpages Audio, March 1991

The great bandleader and cosmologist talks about everything from being a visitor from Saturn to his spiritual home in Egypt, via much about making music, improvisation and the importance of discipline.

File format: mp3; file size: 86.2mb, interview length: 1h 34' 12" sound quality: ***

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Sun Ra, and Interview: Collision of the Suns

Interview by John Sinclair, The Warren-Forest Sun, 1 April 1967

THE INTERVIEW with SUN RA, the master musician & prophet, was originally taped & edited by John Sinclair in December 1966 for GUERRILLA. The interview ...

Interview: Sun Ra Part 2

Interview by John Sinclair, The Warren-Forest Sun, 14 April 1967

I KNOW I got something to help people but — I don't know what to do about it. I can put it over in music, ...

Sun Ra & the Myth-Science Solar Arkestra: Community Theater, Berkeley CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, The San Francisco Examiner, 12 December 1968

Lift Missing in Space Music ...

Newport Jazz Festival 1969: New Records & Not All That Jazz

Live Review by Ian Dove, Billboard, 19 July 1969

NEWPORT, R.I. — On paper at least the experiment of adding rock music to the Newport Jazz Festival 1969 came from the purest of motives. ...

Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra: The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra. Vol. 1. (Fontana)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, 10 January 1970

'Heliocentric'; 'Outer Nothingness'; 'Other Worlds'; 'The Cosmos'; 'Of Heavenly Things'; 'Nebulae'; 'Dancing In The Sun'. ...

Sun Ra And The Arkestra: Sound Of Joy (Delmark DS-414)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, 21 March 1970

'El Is A Sound Of Joy'; 'Overtones Of China'; 'Two Tones'; 'Paradise'; 'Planet Earth'; 'Ankh'; 'Saturn'; 'Reflections In Blue'; 'El Viktor'. ...

Sun Ra: Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Live Review by Richard Williams, The Times, 11 November 1970

THE VISUAL element of jazz has always been notoriously conservative, ever since Chick Webb stopped painting jungle sunsets on his bass drum. At the Queen ...

Sun Ra & His Solar-Myth Arkestra: The Solar-Myth Approach, Volume 1 (BYG Actuel 40); The Solar-Myth Approach, Volume 2 (BYG Actuel 41)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, 4 March 1972

Ra's solar myth ...

Sun Ra And His Myth-Science Arkestra

Profile and Interview by John Sinclair, Creem, November 1972

If you find earth bor-ingJust the same old same thing –If you find earth bor-ingJust the same old same thing – Come on, sign up ...

Sun Ra: Atlantis

Review by Lester Bangs, Phonograph Record, June 1973

SAN RA SURE is a good old dog to have around. He's been spooning out this same clank for years, and it's every bit as ...

Sun Ra: Space Is The Place (Dir. John Coney)

Film/DVD/TV Review by Philip Elwood, The San Francisco Examiner, 14 November 1974

A timeless — also plotless — film of Sun Ra ...

OK, smarty, so how do y'shift the whole world off its axis?

Report by Brian Case, New Musical Express, August 1976

Simple. SUN RA knew that one way back. Every musician on the planet just gotta play a C7th — all at the same time. While ...

Sun Ra

Guide by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, 4 September 1976

WHEN IT comes to buying records, what's a bargain? Probably the best value I ever had was paying a princely 75 pence for a mint ...

Sun Ra: Squat Theatre, New York NY

Live Review by Davitt Sigerson, Melody Maker, 22 September 1979

Panto time with Sun Ra ...

Sun Ra Returns From Hyperspace

Profile and Interview by Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, 4 April 1981

SUN RA doesn't take a back seat to anyone when it comes to transforming a live performance into a musical and visual spectacle. ...

Sun Ra: Strange Celestial Road (Y)

Review by Andy Gill, New Musical Express, 29 May 1982


Sun Ra: Strange Celestial Road (Y Records Y19)

Review by Brian Case, Melody Maker, 5 June 1982

OFTEN IN Sun Ra performances I've found myself keeping the faith up to the mark with reminders of the bandleader's pioneering work to avoid concentrating ...

Sun Ra: The Venue, London

Live Review by Mick Brown, The Guardian, 29 July 1982

FOR HERMAN Blount, life has never been the same since he decided to change his name. A former big-band piano player, Herman metamorphosed into Sun ...

Sun Ra: Space Is The Place

Profile and Interview by Andy Gill, New Musical Express, 7 August 1982

Last week the legendary SUN RA, who claims to come from the planet Saturn, beamed down to earth to play two sell-out concerts at London's ...

Sun Ra: The Joy of Life

Interview by Lynden Barber, Melody Maker, 19 November 1983

Lynden Barber hero-worships SUN RA ...

Sun Ra & his Arkestra: The Fridge, Brixton, London

Live Review by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, 30 November 1985

IN A VAIN attempt to create something approaching a jazz boho ambience, someone had covered the walls of the Fridge with arty French slogans. One ...

Sun Ra: Into The Stratosphere

Profile and Interview by Gene Santoro, Pulse!, September 1987

Sun Ra and the Arkestra Inhabit a Cavernous Musical Cosmos ...

Sun Ra: Not-so-lucky old Sun shines on

Profile and Interview by David Toop, The Times, 8 June 1990

David Toop talks to Sun Ra; supremely idiosyncratic veteran US bandleader ...

Sun Ra Arkestra: ULU, London

Live Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, 23 June 1990

WORD OF mouth has drawn a near sell-out (To a free gig? — Ed) crowd to catch the legendary Sun Ra. Amidst rumours that he'll ...

Sun Ra

Profile and Interview by Mark Dery, Keyboard, March 1991


Loving The Alien In Advance Of The Landing

Essay by Mark Sinker, The Wire, February 1992

"IN THE MEANTIME," he said, speaking relentlessly but mesmerically softly, as gurus will, "I finally went to Chicago. I determined not to be a musician ...

Sun Ra: Holiday For Soul Dance; Jazz In Silhouette; Monorails and Satellites; Sound Sun Pleasure!!; Super-Sonic Jazz

Review by Byron Coley, Forced Exposure, 1993

…SUN RA is one of the truly legendary figures of modern jazz. He's led his Arkestra for better than 30 years and in that time ...

Sun Ra And His Intergalactic Harmonic Divergent Jazz Arkestra: S.O.B.'s, New York

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Spin, January 1993

WHEN SUN RA opened for Sonic Youth in Central Park last summer, the bill confirmed at least one unavoidable equation: No Sun Ra equals no ...

How to Buy Sun Ra

Review by Rob Chapman, MOJO, July 1998

LONG AFTER YOU AND I HAVE RETURNED to sub-atomic dust particles, Sun Ra will probably be acclaimed as the greatest composer of the 20th century. ...

Sun Ra: Wooze and Spazz

Overview by Eric Weisbard, The Village Voice, 11 October 2000

IN HIS FAMOUS essay "Kafka and his Precursors," Jorge Luis Borges argues that Zeno, Han Yu, and Kierkegaard, though nothing alike, all now seem Kafkaesque. ...

Drowning in Genius: Surveying this season's mountain of greatest-hits albums

Review by Eric Weisbard, Spin, December 2000

SO, WHAT'LL IT BE: Tears for Fears? .38 Special? Whitesnake? It's become impossible to keep abreast of all the best-ofs, as labels keep foisting greatest-hits ...

Unheard Music Series

Review by Byron Coley, The Wire, November 2002

Byron Coley appraises more archive treasures of free jazz and Improv unearthed in Atavistic's ongoing Unheard Music Series. ...

Cosmic Relief: Sun Ra & His Solar Arkestra: The Magic Sun

Film/DVD/TV Review by Rob Young, Uncut, April 2005

Important documentary artefact of late-'60s avant-garde jazz ...

Sun Ra: Space Is The Place

Essay by David Stubbs, The Guardian, 22 October 2005

"FUCK THE GHETTO! Look to space!" That, according to Wayne Kramer of MC5, in a nutshell was the message of Sun Ra, as conveyed over ...

Jerry Dammers' Spatial AKA Orchestra Presents a tribute to Sun Ra and other musical mavericks

Preview by John L. Walters, Barbican show programme, 10 March 2009

JERRY DAMMERS has long had a place in the nation's musical heart. His exuberant, hard-working band Special AKA (the Specials), helped to revive and redefine ...

Sun Ra: Space is the Place

Review by Stevie Chick,, 2012

Saturnian jazz godhead leaves Earth’s orbit. ...

The Solar Myth Revisited: Sun Ra's Centenary Observed

Report by Kirk Silsbee, Glendale News-Press, 4 April 2014

HIS BIRTH certificate said Birmingham, Alabama but the man who called himself Sun Ra declared that he was from the planet Saturn. Miles Davis set ...

The secret history of the jazz greats who were freemasons

Essay by John Lewis, The Guardian, 2 July 2014

Jazz and freemasonry are unlikely bedfellows, but in the 1950s, the secret society became a support network for musicians and the world's largest fraternity for ...


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