Sun Ra

Sun Ra is an NEA Jazz Master

Eclectic, outrageous, sometimes mystifying but always imbued with a powerful jazz consciousness, the music of Sun Ra has withstood its skeptics and detractors for nearly three generations. And well it should, since Sun Ra has been both apart of and ahead of the jazz tradition during that time. Like Duke Ellington and swing-era pioneer Fletcher Henderson, Sun Ra learned early on to write music in an arranged form that showcased the specific talents of his individual Arkestra members, and he has retained the services of some of these musicians to this day: John Gilmore, Marshall Allen, and Julian Priester for example since they first joined in the 1950's. On the other hand, Sun Ra was the first jazz musician to perform on electronic keyboards (56), the first to pursue full-scale collective improvisation in a big band setting, and his preoccupation with space travel as a compositional subject predated bands like Weather Report by about 15 years.All this from someone who refuses to even cite the earth as his home planet and prefers to have arrived from Saturn. As Sun Ra once explained it, “I never wanted to be a part of planet Earth, but I am compelled to be here, so anything I do for this planet is because the Master-Creator of the Universe is making me do it. I am of another dimension. I am on this planet because people need me”.

Equally as mystifying is the fact that Sun Ra has no legal birth certificate. The Library of Congress claims that he arrived in Alabama, U.S.A., and his passport states that his legal name is Le Sony'r Ra, thus making all other names such as Sonny Lee, Sunni Bhlount, Armand Ra, and H. Sonne Bhlount merely pseudonyms.

Read more

Tags

View More Photos

Discography

Monorails & Satellites: Works For Solo Piano Vols. 1, 2, 3

Monorails &...

Cosmic Myth Records
2019

buy
Pathways To Unknown Worlds

Pathways To Unknown...

Modern Harmonic
2019

buy
Sun Ra Plays Gershwin

Sun Ra Plays Gershwin

Enterplanetary Koncepts
2018

buy
Of Abstract Dreams

Of Abstract Dreams

Strut Records
2018

buy
Exotica

Exotica

Modern Harmonic
2018

buy

Watch

Similar

Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Eric Dolphy Eric Dolphy
woodwind
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
saxophone, alto
John Zorn John Zorn
saxophone, alto
Albert Ayler Albert Ayler
saxophone, tenor
Don Cherry Don Cherry
trumpet
Marc Ribot Marc Ribot
guitar

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.