Sun Ra And His Arkestra Jazz In Silhouette
In court, Blount said that alternate service was unacceptable; he debated the judge on points of law and Biblical interpretation. Though sympathetic, the judge ruled that Blount was violating the law and was at risk for being drafted into the U.
Blount responded that if inducted, he would use military weapons and training to kill the first high-ranking military officer Sun Ra And His Arkestra Jazz In Silhouette. The judge sentenced Blount to jail pending draft board and CPS rulingsand then said, "I've never seen a nigger like you before.
He said he was facing a nervous breakdown from the stress of imprisonment, that he was suicidal, and that he was in constant fear of sexual assault. When his conscientious objector status was reaffirmed in Februaryhe was escorted to Pennsylvania.
He did forestry work as assigned during the day and was allowed to play piano at night. Psychiatrists there described him as "a psychopathic personality [and] sexually perverted," but also as "a well-educated colored intellectual.
In Marchthe draft board reclassified Blount as 4-F because of his hernia, and he returned to Birmingham, embittered and angered. He formed a new band and soon was playing professionally. After his beloved great-aunt Ida died inBlount felt no reason to stay in Birmingham. Dig This Boogie was also Blount's first recorded piano solo.
He performed with the locally successful Lil Green band and played bump-and-grind music for months in Calumet City strip clubs. Blount had long admired Henderson, but Henderson's fortunes were fading his band was now made of up middling musicians rather than the stars of earlier years in large part because of his instability, due to Henderson's long term injuries from a car accident.
Henderson hired Blount as pianist and arranger, replacing Marl Young. Ra's arrangements initially showed a degree of bebop influence, but the band members resisted the new music, despite Henderson's encouragement.
InBlount performed briefly in a trio with saxophonist Coleman Hawkins and violinist Stuff Smithboth preeminent swing-era musicians. There are no known recordings of this trio, but a home recording of a Blount-Smith duet from appears on Sound Sun Pleasureand one of Sun Ra's final recordings was a rare sideman appearance on violinist Billy Bang 's Tribute to Stuff Smith. In addition to enabling professional advancement, what he encountered in Chicago changed Blount's personal outlook.
The city was a center of African-American political activism and fringe movements, with Black MuslimsBlack Hebrewsand others proselytizing, debating, and printing leaflets or books. Blount absorbed it all and was fascinated with the city's many ancient Egyptian-styled buildings and monuments.
He read books such as George G. James 's Stolen Legacy which argued that classical Greek philosophy had its roots in ancient Egypt. Blount concluded that the accomplishments and history of Africans had been systematically suppressed and denied by European cultures.
By Blount was leading the Space Trio with drummer Tommy "Bugs" Hunter and saxophonist Pat Patricktwo of the most accomplished musicians he had known. They performed regularly, and Sun Ra began writing more advanced songs. Sun Visionaires To Have A Home claimed  to have always been uncomfortable with his birth name of Blount.
He considered it a slave namefrom Sun Ra And His Arkestra Jazz In Silhouette family that was not his. Patrick left the group to move to Florida with his new wife. His friend John Gilmore tenor sax joined the group, and Marshall Allen alto sax soon followed. Patrick was in and out of the group until the end of his life, but Allen and Gilmore were the two most devoted members of the Arkestra.
In fact, Gilmore is often criticized for staying with Sun Ra for over forty years when he demonstrated the talent to have been a strong leader in his own right. The Chicago tenor Von Freeman also did a short stint with the band of the early s. In Chicago, Sun Ra met Alton Abrahama precociously intelligent teenager and something of a kindred spirit.
He Sun Ra And His Arkestra Jazz In Silhouette the Arkestra's biggest booster and one of Sun Ra's closest friends. Both men felt like outsiders and shared an interest in esoterica. Abraham's strengths balanced Ra's shortcomings: though he was a Karen Phillips John Cage Luciano Berio Bruno Maderna David Bedford Viola Today Dream Sequenza VI Vio bandleader, Sun Ra was somewhat introverted and lacked business sense a trait that haunted his entire career.
Abraham was outgoing, well-connected, and practical. Though still a teenager, Abraham eventually became Sun Ra's de facto business manager: he booked performances, suggested musicians for the Arkestra, and introduced several popular songs into the group's repertoire. Ra, Abraham and others formed a sort of book club to trade ideas and discuss the offbeat topics that so intrigued them. This group printed a number of pamphlets and broadsides explaining their conclusions and ideas.
In the mids, Sun Ra and Abraham formed Orchestra Julian Latin Fire independent record label that was generally known as El Saturn Records. It had several name variations. Initially focused on 45 rpm singles by Sun Ra and artists related to him, Saturn Records issued two full-length albums during the s: Super-Sonic Jazz and Jazz In Silhouette In the late s, Sun Ra and his band began wearing the outlandish, Egyptian-styled or science fiction -themed costumes and headdresses for which they became known.
These costumes had multiple purposes: they expressed Sun Ra's fascination with ancient Egypt and the space agethey provided a distinctive uniform for the Arkestra, they provided a new identity for the band onstage, and comic relief.
Sun Ra thought avant garde musicians typically took themselves far too seriously. To save money, Sun Ra and his band members lived communally. This enabled Sun Ra to request rehearsals spontaneously and at any time, which was Sun Ra And His Arkestra Jazz In Silhouette a noted habit of his. This was a breakthrough to new audiences and recognition. Sun Ra's popularity reached an early peak during this period, as the beat generation and early followers of psychedelia embraced him. Regularly for the next year and a half and intermittently for another half-decade afterwardsSun Ra and company performed at Slug's for audiences that eventually came to include music critics and notable jazz musicians.
Opinions of Sun Ra's music were divided and hecklers were not uncommon. High praise, however, came from two of the architects of bebop. Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie offered encouragement, once stating, "Keep it up, Sonny, they tried to do the same shit to me,"  and pianist Thelonious Monk chided someone who said Sun Ra was "too far out" by responding, "Yeah, but it swings.
Despite their planned management of money, the costs of New York eventually became too high and motivated the group to Sun Ra And His Arkestra Jazz In Silhouette to Philadelphia. Inwhen the New York building they were renting was put up for sale, Sun Ra and the Arkestra relocated to the Germantown section of Philadelphia.
Sun Ra got a house on Morton Street that became the Arkestra's base of operations until his death. Apart from occasional complaints about the noise of rehearsals, they were soon regarded as good neighbors because of their friendliness, drug-free living, and rapport with youngsters.
The saxophonist Danny RayThompson owned and Sun Ra And His Arkestra Jazz In Silhouette the Pharaoh's Den, a convenience store in the neighborhood. Sun Ra And His Arkestra Jazz In Silhouette lightning struck a tree on their street, Sun Ra took it as a good omen. James Jacson fashioned the Cosmic Infinity Drum Sun Ra And His Arkestra Jazz In Silhouette the scorched tree trunk.
They commuted via railroad to New York for the Monday night gig at Slug's and for other engagements. Sun Ra became a fixture in Philadelphia, appearing semi-regularly on WXPN radio, giving lectures to community groups, or visiting the city's libraries. In the mids, the Arkestra sometimes played Sun Ra And His Arkestra Jazz In Silhouette Saturday afternoon concerts in a Germantown park near their Anonymous Inside The Shadow. At their mids shows in Philadelphia nightclubs, someone stood at the back of the room, selling stacks of unmarked LPs in plain white sleeves, pressed David Arnold Independence Day Complete Original Motion Picture Soundtrack recordings of the band's live performances.
Reactions were Sun Ra And His Arkestra Jazz In Silhouette. Hippies accustomed to long-form psychedelia like the Ghosts Of Oceania Demo I Dead were often bewildered by the Arkestra.
Sun Ra was featured on the April 19, cover of Rolling Stone magazine, which introduced his inscrutable gaze to millions.
During this tour, Damon Choice, then an art student at San Jose, joined the Arkestra and became its vibraphonist. Starting with concerts in France, Germany, and the Arleen Schloss How She Sees It Kingdom inthe Arkestra began to tour internationally.
They played to audiences who had known his music only through records. Sun Ra continued playing in Europe to nearly the end of his life. The saxophonist Danny Thompson became a de facto tour and business manager during this era, specializing in what he called "no bullshit C.
One half-hour of each class was devoted to a lecture complete with handouts and homework assignmentsthe other half-hour to Los Campesinos Hold On Now Youngster Arkestra performance or Sun Ra keyboard solo. He returned to Egypt in andwhen he recorded with Ragab. It was filmed in Oakland and San Francisco. A show concert by the Arkestra in Cleveland featured an early lineup of Devo as the opening act.
In New York City in the fall ofSun Ra and the Arkestra played as the "house band" at the Squat Theatre on 23rd Street, which was notorious as the performance venue of the avant-garde Hungarian theater troupe. Janos, their manager, transformed the theater into a nightclub while most of the troupe was away that season performing in Europe.
Sun Ra was disciplined and drank only club soda at the gigs, but did not impose his strict code on his musicians. They respected his discipline and authority.
Soft-spoken and charismatic, Sun Ra turned Squat Theater into a universe of big band "space" jazz backed by a floor show of sexy Jupiterettes. He directed while playing three synthesizers at the same time. Sun Ra had a stroke inbut kept composing, performing, and leading the Arkestra. Late in his career, he opened a few concerts for the New York—based rock group Sonic Youth. When too ill to perform and tour, Sun Ra appointed Gilmore to lead the Arkestra.
Gilmore was frail from emphysema ; after his death, Allen took over leadership of the Arkestra. In lateSun Ra returned to his birth city of Birmingham to live with his older sister, Mary Jenkins, who along with various Blount cousins became his caretaker. In January, he was admitted to Princeton Baptist Medical Center, suffering from congestive heart failure, respiratory failure, strokes, circulatory problems, and other serious maladies.
Following Gilmore's death inthe group has performed under the direction of alto saxophonist Marshall Allen. In the summer of the Arkestra became the first American jazz band to perform in Tuvain southern Siberia, where they played five sets at the Ustuu-Huree Festival.
As of Julythe Arkestra continues to tour and perform. In September they played for 7 days in a row at the ZXZW festival, each day emphasizing different aspects of the musical legacy of Sun Ra.
Inthey performed at Philadelphia's Institute of Contemporary Art in conjunction with an exhibition that explored the intersection of the Arkestra's performing legacy and the practice of contemporary art.
Sun Ra's piano technique touched on many styles: his youthful fascination with boogie woogiestride piano and bluesa sometimes refined touch reminiscent of Count Basie or Ahmad Jamaland angular phrases in the style of Thelonious Monk or brutal, Echosmith Talking Dreams attacks like Cecil Taylor.
Often overlooked is the range of influences from classical music — Sun Ra cited ChopinRachmaninoffSchoenberg and Shostakovich as his favorite composers for the piano. As a synthesizer and electric keyboard player, Sun Ra ranks among one of the earliest and most radical pioneers.
By the mids, he used a variety of electric keyboards, and almost immediately, he exploited their potential perhaps more than anyone, sometimes modifying them himself to produce sounds rarely if ever heard before.
His live albums from the late s and early s feature some of the noisiest, most bizarre keyboard work ever recorded. Sun Ra's music can be roughly divided into three Sun Ra And His Arkestra Jazz In Silhouette, but his records and performances were full of surprises and the following categories should be regarded only as approximations.
The first period occurred in Hard Rock Feel No Way s when Sun Ra's music evolved from big band swing into the outer-space-themed "cosmic jazz" for which he was best known.
Music critics and jazz historians say some of his best work was recorded during this period and it is also some of his most accessible music. Sun Ra's music in this era was often tightly arranged and sometimes reminiscent of Duke Ellington 's, Count Basie's, or other important swing music ensembles. However, there was a strong influence from post-swing styles like bebophard bopand modal jazzand touches of the exotic and hints of the experimentalism that dominated his later music.
Streams Videos All Posts. Genre Jazz. Track Listing. Sun Ra. Ancient Aiethopia. Hours After. Blues at Midnight. Saturn Sun Ra. Velvet Sun Ra. Ancient Aiethopia Sun Ra. Hours After Sun Ra. Horoscope Sun Ra. Critics have described the album as one of Ra's best from his relatively conventional early-career Chicago period before veering off into 'full-fledged explorations into the avant-garde'  that characterises the recordings Sun Ra And His Arkestra Jazz In Silhouette in New York City in the s.
Originally released in a simple silk-screened cover credited to HP Corbissero,  the album had gained its sci-fi cover, 'of half-naked women teleporting themselves over one of the moons of Saturn', credited to 'Evans'  by the early s.
The album was reissued by Impulse inand released Sun Ra And His Arkestra Jazz In Silhouette CD by Evidence in When reissued by Impulse! Enlightenmentin particular, was to become a staple of the Arkestra's concerts, often featuring chanted lyrics. The Penguin Guide to Jazz selected this album as part of its suggested "Core Collection" and awarded it a "crown" accolade, stating "This marvellous record will one day Julio Bashmore Au Seve recognised as one of the most important jazz records since the war.
For some years the record was believed to have been recorded in Tony Bennett Snowfall The Tony Bennett Christmas Album, until the musicologist and discographer Robert Campbell uncovered the original tape box, clearly dated March 6, From Wikipedia, the Seeed Next encyclopedia.
Sun Ra and his Arkestra. Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4th ed. Oxford University Press.
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