Sunday Morning Jazz: Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra

Words and thoughts by Thomas Sebastian Galasso

 
 
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Sun Ra continues to be one of the most interesting, influential and rare figures in jazz despite the fact that he is no longer with us in physical form. This is a testament to his

genius and progressive approach to art. His music goes beyond avant garde, and well beyond the free sound that had began to truly take shape in the 1960s. An interesting

nugget of information regarding this brilliant piece of music, is the fact that these sessions were largely improvised. Sun Ra and his Arkestra created this work largely without

the restraints of known melody or harmony.

 

Below is a quote from the Detroit jazz legend, and Sun Ra collaborator Marshall Allen regarding these sessions and perhaps shedding more light on the genius of Sun Ra.

 

“I just picked up the piccolo and worked with what was going on, what mood they set, or what feeling they had. A lot of things we’d be rehearsing and we did the wrong

things and Sun Ra stopped the arrangement and changed it. Or he would change the person who was playing the particular solo, so that changes the arrangement. So the

one that was soloing would get another part given to him personally. ‘Cos he knew people. He could understand what you could do better so he would fit that with what he

would tell you.” -Marshall Allen