Saturday, August 27, 2016

Interview with Marshall Allen

Sun Ra Commander Marshall Allen

Marshall Allen is 92 years young and remains as sharp as the notes that explode from his alto saxophone. The Kentucky native joined the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra in 1958 and has been steering the ship ever since his mentor (and the band’s namesake) died in 1993. Sun Ra, of course, remains one of the most innovative and enigmatic artists who ever lived.
While Duke Ellington and Count Basie became global royalty, Sun Ra – born Herman Poole Blount in Alabama, 1914 (or on Saturn during an unspecified millennium, take your pick) – cloaked himself in the name and imagery of the Egyptian god of rays. Endless albums such as The Nubians of Plutonia (1966),Space is the Place (1972), and Celestial Love (1982) outline an astro and Afrocentric philosophy inextricably linking the black experience to the spaceways.

The Arkestra touches down locally this Saturday for RAS Day, the third annual festival lovingly reared by married hip-hop duo Riders Against the Storm. The family-friendly day celebrates the vibrant, diverse, and creative community that the pair of Chaka and Qi Dada have cultivated since arriving locally in 2010. Allen and the Arkestra constitute an intergalactic get for Riders, RAS Day, and Austin itself.

Read the interview here:


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