One of the finest Sun Ra recordings from his final years, this effort is particularly recommended due to the many Ra keyboard solos and John Gilmore features, the latter of which include a tenor showcase on "Opus In Springtime." Trumpeters Michael Ray and Ahmed Abdullah, altoist Marshall Allen and singer June Tyson also have their spots, and the repertoire consists of ten Ra originals (including a remake of "El Is the Sound of Joy") and three standard ballads. Overall, this is a fine all-around studio set. Recommended.
Before Sun Ra began navigating the cosmic flux and piloting passengers across the universe, the bandleader Herman "Sunny" (or "Sonny") Blount (b. Birmingham, Alabama, 1914) was developing his musical craft in Chicago. In the early and mid-1950s that meant collaborating with artists in the fields of doo-wop, rhythm & blues, late-period big band jazz, and urban soul. History reveals that before Sun Ra was an orchestra leader, he was a session leader.
In 1980 Sun-Ra fanatic Rick Steiger organised what was to be the "Greatest cultural event going on in America at that time" according to Sun Ra himself. The concert started the day after Christmas and evolved into a 6-day, 11-performance residency that rocked the Detroit Jazz centre to it's boots. These are nine tracks from those sessions, capturing the Arkestra in full flight with some help from local musicians Tani Tabbal, Ali Mora, Jaribu Shahid and Reggie Fields. Pure vibes!!!
Sun Ra admired George Gershwin and paid musical tribute to the great composer's legacy countless times over his 50-year performing and recording career. This digital-only release, spanning 38 years (1951–1989), compiles some of the best recorded examples of Ra's idiosyncratic takes on the Gershwin catalog. These performances encompass a variety of styles and personnel — full Arkestra, trio with vocalist (Hattie Randolph), duo (Sun Ra and Wilbur Ware), and doo-wop (The Nu Sounds, arranged and accompanied by Sun Ra).