Sunday, 18 November 2007
Sun Ra Arkestra - Retrospect (1990)
Sun Ra (Born Herman Poole Blount; legal name Le Sony'r Ra; born May 22, 1914 in Birmingham, Alabama, died May 30, 1993 in Birmingham, Alabama) was an innovative jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, poet and philosopher known for his "cosmic philosophy", musical compositions and performances.
He abandoned his birth name and took on the name and persona of Sun Ra (Ra being the ancient Egyptian god of the Sun). Claiming that he was of the "Angel Race" and not from Earth, but from Saturn, Ra developed a complicated persona of "cosmic" philosophies and lyrical poetry that made him a pioneer of Afrofuturism as he preached "awareness" and peace above all.
He led The Arkestra (a deliberate mis-spelling of "orchestra"), an ensemble with an ever-changing lineup and name (it was also called "The Solar Myth Arkestra," the "Blue Universe Arkestra," "The Jet Set Omniverse Arkestra," and many other permutations; Ra asserted that the ever-changing name of his ensemble reflected the ever-changing nature of his music.)
A prolific recording artist and frequent live performer, Sun Ra's music ranged from keyboard solos to big bands of 30-odd musicians; his music touched on virtually the entire history of jazz, from ragtime to swing music, from bebop to free jazz; he was also a pioneer of electronic music, space music and free improvisation, and was one of the first musicians, regardless of genre, to make extensive use of electronic keyboards.
Posted by warmpoison at 14:12