Last year in 2009 John Sinclair kindly asked if I would like to contribute to a new HEADPRESS book project about the great Astro Black genius: Sun Ra. I jumped off my stool at the chance and set quickly set to work on a piece: 'The Myth Art and Music of Sun Ra'.
I received two copies of the book this week (28th April 2010) and feel greatly honoured to be included within a bounty of cutting edge 'Sun Ra' multi media research, and to be among literary hero's of mine such as Amiri Baraka and John Sinclair, who together have evidently tirelessly promoted the genius and wonders of Sun Ra for over forty years, and Black Music culture more generally for more than five decades.
I added 'hyperlinks' to some details provided at the HEADPRESS website page for SUN RA: INTERVIEWS & ESSAYS. Edited by JOHN SINCLAIR. (2010). Enjoy.
By way of an Introduction by Peter Dennett
Sun Ra by Amiri Baraka
Sun Ra Visits Planet Earth by John Sinclair
It Knocks on Everybody’s Door by John Sinclair: Interview with Sun Ra, Detroit Sun, 1966
Cosmic Catalyst by David Henderson: Sun Ra in New York City, Oakland & Philadelphia
Word from Sun Ra by Amiri Baraka
Their Space Was My Place by Ben Edmonds: Sun Ra & the MC-5 at the Grande Ballroom, Detroit, 2009
Life Is Splendid by John Sinclair: Sun Ra at the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival, 1972
Interview with Amiri Baraka by Lazaro Vega, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1999
I Know Everything You Need to Know About Music by John Sinclair: A Conversation with Michael Ray
Arkestra in Residence by Rick Steiger: Sun Ra & His Arkestra at the Detroit Jazz Center, 1980
Sun Ra Memories by John Sinclair
Twenty-first Century Music by Pete Gershon: The Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of alto saxophonist Marshall Allen
The Great and Wondrous Sun Ra by John Sinclair: In Conversation with Wayne Kramer, London, June 2008
My Night as a Tone Scientist by Wayne Kramer
Cosmic Engineering: Jerry Dammers & the Spatial aka Orchestra / Part 1: Interview with Jerry Dammers by John Sinclair & Dylan Harding, London, 2009 / Part 2: Concert reviews by Paul Bradshaw, John Mulvey, Ian Harrison & Jack Massarik
Schwartzegeist by Sadiq Bey: Live from Berlin: The Sun Ra Tribute Project
Sun Ra: Myth, Magic & Music by Steve Fly Agaric 23
The Mystical Estate / Part 1: Standing in the Shadow of Sun Ra by Dylan Harding / Part 2: Interview with Haf-fa Rool by David Kerekes & Caleb Selah, London, 2002
Sun Ra on Film by John Sinclair & David Kerekes: The Cry of Jazz & Space is the Place
Sun Ra Obituary by John Sinclair: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 1993
Photos & Comics / Part 1: Sonny’s Last Song by Mat Colegate & Dan White / Part 2: Scrapbook
About this book
Some photographs I snapped of the book:
Available at CITYLIGHTS bookstores in the U.S
Composer, bandleader, pianist and space philosopher, Sun Ra was a unique individual and one of the most colorful and enduring of musical legacies, transcending time, place and culture. From the mid 1950s until his death in 1993, Sun Ra led The Arkestra , a fluid collective that lived and played together under the despotic tutelage of their leader, who claimed to hail from Saturn. Their music was jazz, but avant garde compositions in which players were instructed to adhere to a space key improvising without regard for conventional tonal centers was symptomatic of an altogether different direction in sound: electronic music, space music and free improvisation.
But Sun Ra's legendary status was earned as much for his eccentricities as for his unique artistic vision. He developed and propagated a mystifying sci-fi mythology which he weaved into both the music and Dadaist performances of The Arkestra (performances which inspired artists as diverse as George Clinton and MC5). This book collects together for the first time interviews with Sun Ra, the people that knew him, and his contemporaries, alongside illuminating essays and conversational pieces regarding his prolific musical output, mystique, philosophy, fans, and much more.
Publisher Headpress ISBN-10 1900486725 ISBN-13 9781900486729 Publication Date October 2009 List Price $19.95
SUN RA MAYDAY SELECTION DJ FLY by djphly
SunRa Jazz Freejazz Experimental Astroblack
Selected and recorded by dj Phly Agaric 23, May 1st, 2010. Amsterdam. In resonance with the recent launch of the book SUN RA: INTERVIEWS & ESSAYS (HEADPRESS).
Track Listing v1.
TWIN STARS OF THENCE - SUN RA
EVE - SUN RA
WATUSI - SUN RA
ASTRO BLACK - SUN RA
SUNRISE - SUN RA
THERE ARE OTHER WORLDS - SUN RA
ABSTRACT "I" - SUN RA
GREAT BALL OF FIRE - SUN RA
OVERTONES OF CHINA - SUN RA
NASHIRA - SUN RA
IT IS FORBIDDEN - SUN RA
HIROSHIMA - SUN RA
HOURS AFTER - SUN RA
Mix Release date: May 1, 2010.