Space is the Place: The Life and Times of Sun Ra
This biography of Sun Ra is as much about the music as it is about his unorthodox views on the galaxy, black people and spiritual matters. With the ... Show synopsis This biography of Sun Ra is as much about the music as it is about his unorthodox views on the galaxy, black people and spiritual matters. With the various incarnations of his Arkestra, his repertoire ranged from boogie-woogie to swing to be-bop to fusion to New Age, and his influence extended throughout the jazz and rock worlds. Sun Ra died in 1993 at the age of 79. From peripatetic beginnings in the South - he spent years as a rehearsal pianist for nightclub reviews and swing bands - Sun Ra grew into one of the major avant-garde musicians of the 20th century. For 40 years Sun Ra led his intergalactic Arkestra on a musical path that confounded, entertained and inspired. One of the most significant jazz musicians of the post-war period, Ra was a composer, arranger, pianist and big band leader. Many of the members of the Arkestra began and ended their careers in what Ra described as "The Ra Prison". The band lived together in the same Chicago house, rehearsing in the basement and running a shop selling "space paraphenalia" in the front room. Pre-dating the avant-garde, he sent shockwaves through jazz and influenced a range of music, from free-form jazz to trip-hop. While Sun Ra made a lifelong effort to obscure many of the facts of his early years, he did acknowledge that he was born on the planet Saturn.
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