Recorded in 1956-60 and way ahead of their time, these two albums are a good place to start a Sun Ra collection. The Angels And Demons title track is terrific.
Two albums that bridge the Arkestra’s move from Chicago to New York in the early 1960s.
Ra goes back to his roots in this hommage to the big-band sound of Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson.
Live at Donaueschingen and Berlin festivals in 1970, featuring Alan Silva, Leroy Taylor, Lex Humphries and co.
Recorded one long hot night in July 1978. Sun Ra at the Rhodes, Disco Kid on guitar… deadly funk riffs, heady and tight. A classic.
1960, Chicago. Fascinating glimpse of the band live at The Wonder Inn — plus a studio rarity, the Majestic Hall session.
NYC 1969/70. A mixture of out band tracks featuring fine vocals by June Tyson, and Sun Ra’s inimitable solo Moog synthesizer.
From 1970. A duet sung by Ra and June Tyson; then keyboards announce Shadow World, with the full band featuring Marshall Allen. Finally, The Cosmic Explorer is a spectacular twenty minutes of Moog and various keys.
This 1964 experiment is minimal, precise and — even by Ra’s standards — very unusual. Featuring a fabulous tirade from tenor John Gilmore on the title track.
Two studio albums from 1973, though Friendly Love was never released at the time — and Pathways now comes with an unissued track.
Rooted in the standards, these early tracks include a gorgeous vocal version of Round Midnight by Hatty Randolph. Deep Purple — from 1953, with Stuff Smith on violin — is one of the earliest.
Fantastic culmination of Evidence’s superb re-issue programme — everything from doo-wop to disco 2100 in this compilation of ultra-rare singles.
Two albums from the dawn of the Arkestra sound in late-50s Chicago, when the band started wearing space costumes while playing jazz enriched with gongs and bells.
From 1979, and including UFO — rumbustious disco, Arkestra-style, with solos from John Gilmore, Taylor Richardson, and Michael Ray (who also mixed the album, layering in pre-recorded material).
A 1979 studio recording — one of Sun Ra’s best-loved, funkiest records — with John Gilmore at his greatest, and a bigger Arkestra than had just played the Moers festival. Vinyl from Kindred Spirits.
‘Space jazz reverie’ for septet, recorded by Tom Wilson for Savoy in 1961. Ra on piano; great tunes. New Day is classic Arkestra — bass, cymbals, hand percussion, Gilmore’s bass clarinet. Picture disc.
Audience tape of a concert in Austria, 1989. Ra revered Disney — ‘one of the white folks who brought beauty to the world’.
One CD bringing together live recordings from the late 1980s.
Live at Teatro la Fenice, Venice, November 1977. From the same tour that produced Disco 3000 but this is a different cup of tea. Thoughtful solo piano. Limited edition.
Phil Niblock’s classic experimental film, shot in black and white in New York in 1966. With a Sun Ra soundtrack and Ra-related special features.
Two inspired LPs, bridging the band’s move from Chicago to NYC. Spaceways introduces that great Ra motif, the cosmic chant; the sextet on Bad gives the soloists room to find something new in the standards.