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Tuesday, Sep 16 2014 | 18:30
Image: 1591412 “Sun Ra said he came from Saturn, because white America treated him like an alien, like a creature from outer space, so he became one, an anarcho-emperor of the fantastic, who made it to the moon before America or Russia, because the moon was nowhere near as far out as he could really go.“ Paul Morley

Strut and Art Yard join forces for a special release to mark what would have been Sun Ra’s 100th birthday with ’In The Orbit Of Ra’, a new collection curated by the longest serving member of the Arkestra and current bandleader, Marshall Allen. Bringing together Ra highights from over 25 years of music, the album is the first internationally released compilation to provide an introduction to the music of Sun Ra, curated personally by the Arkestra and mastered from the original tapes.

With a catalogue of well over a hundred albums, Sun Ra forged his own direction in music from the mid ‘50s until his passing in 1993, injecting space age cosmic philosophy, ancient Egyptian history and lyrical poetry into a unique and freeform jazz sound. His music evolved constantly with relentless rehearsals, live gigging and recording schedules, developing a second-sense chemistry with his fellow Arkestra band members. Together, their emphasis would often be on improvisation and “the moment”, constantly re-interpreting and evolving their sound. Elements of magic and ritual would regularly feature in their performances and would lend the Arkestra a mystical aura. As Sun Ra himself said, “I have many names, some call me Mr. Ra, others call me Mr. Re. You can call me Mr. Mystery.”

For this exclusive new collection, Strut join forces with Artyard to gain access to the inner sanctum of the Arkestra. In addition to the track selection, the release features recollections and contributions from some of the core Arkestra line-up including Marshall Allen, Michael Ray, Knoel Scott and Danny Ray Thompson. For the music, Allen’s selection takes us through the huge variety and intricacy of the Arkestra’s work covering the ‘60s to early ‘80s, from the celestial blues of ‘Spontaneous Simplicity’ and ‘Plutonian Nights’ to the urgent jazz of ‘Rocket Number Nine Take Off For Planet Venus’ and ‘Dance Of The Cosmo Aliens’. The album features an exclusive previously unreleased Sun Ra track from the Art Yard archives, the acoustic ‘Trying To Put The Blame On Me’ recorded live in Rome in 1977, along with a previously unreleased Part 1 of ‘Reflects Motion’ from 1962 and an unheard extended version of ‘Island In The Sun’ from the late ‘60s.

‘In The Orbit Of Ra’ is released on 2CD, 2LP and digital formats. Physical formats feature full interview with Marshall Allen along with rare and previously unpublished photos by Val Wilmer.

Key Points:
first Sun Ra compilation to be curated by Marshall Allen / Sun Ra Arkestra
strong and essential introduction to Sun Ra’s music amid a variety of collector’s reissues in the marketplace
album features exclusive previously unreleased Sun Ra recordings and versions
- all tracks mastered from original reel to reel tapes and licensed officially in conjunction with Sun Ra LLC and Art Yard Records
- Marshall Allen fully involved in album promotional campaign

FOR FANS OF:
Jazz, modal jazz, Salah Ragab, Heliocentrics, Gilles Peterson, spiritual jazz, Lloyd Miller, Philip Cohran, Kindred Spirits, free jazz, Oneness Of Juju, Sun Ra Arkestra, Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA Orchestra, Jazzman, Soul Jazz

Cd 1

1. Sun Ra And His Myth Science Arkestra – Somewhere In Space 3.01
2. Sun Ra & His Solar-Myth Arkestra – The Lady With The Golden Stockings 7.43
3. Sun Ra And His Afro Infinity Arkestra – Somebody Else’S World 3.59
4. Sun Ra – Spontaneous Simplicity 7.54
5. Sun Ra & His Solar-Myth Arkestra – Plutonian Nights 4.20
6. The Sun Ra Arkestra – Angels And Demons At Play 2.51
7. Sun Ra – Island In The Sun (Extended Version – Previously Unreleased) 10.20
8. Sun Ra – Rocket Number Nine Take Off For Planet Venus 6.18
9. Sun Ra – Solar Differentials 6.20

Cd 2

1. Sun Ra And His Arkestra – Astro Black 10.51
2. Sun Ra And His Intergalactic Infinity Arkestra – Have You Heard The Latest News From Neptune 5.51
3. Sun Ra – Dance Of The Cosmo Aliens (Live In Milan, 1978) 11.00
4. Sun Ra – Trying To Put The Blame On Me (Live In Rome, 1977 - Previously Unreleased) 3.37
5. Sun Ra And His Solar Arkestra – Planet Earth 4.55
6. Sun Ra And His Myth Science Arkestra – The Nile 4.55
7. Sun Ra And His Solar Arkestra – Reflects Motion (Part 1 – Previously Unreleased) 3.21
8. Sun Ra And His Solar Arkestra – Reflects Motion (Part 2) 8.09
9. Sun Ra – Ancient Aiethiopia 9.15
10. Sun Ra And His Arkestra – Interplanetary Music 2.40
11. Sun Ra And His Myth Science Arkestra – We Travel The Spaceways 3.21

A1. Sun Ra And His Myth Science Arkestra – Somewhere In Space 3.01
A2. Sun Ra & His Solar-Myth Arkestra – The Lady With The Golden Stockings 7.43
A3. Sun Ra And His Afro Infinity Arkestra – Somebody Else’S World 3.59
A4. Sun Ra & His Solar-Myth Arkestra – Plutonian Nights 4.20

B1. The Sun Ra Arkestra – Angels And Demons At Play 2.51
B2. Sun Ra – Island In The Sun (Extended Version – Previously Unreleased) 10.20
B3. Sun Ra – Rocket Number Nine Take Off For Planet Venus 6.18

C1. Sun Ra And His Arkestra – Astro Black 10.51
C2. Sun Ra And His Intergalactic Infinity Arkestra – Have You Heard The Latest News From Neptune 5.51
C3. Sun Ra And His Myth Science Arkestra – We Travel The Spaceways 3.21

D1. Sun Ra And His Solar Arkestra – Reflects Motion (Part 1 – Previously Unreleased) 3.21
D2. Sun Ra And His Solar Arkestra – Reflects Motion (Part 2) 8.09
D3. Sun Ra – Ancient Aiethiopia 9.15 Available from 19.09.2014
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