Known as one of the finest names in experimental jazz, Sun Ra formed a legacy as impactful as the likes of John Coltrane and Miles Davis. His music was eclectic, making moves between ragtime, swing, bebop, free jazz and fusion like it was nothing.
While his abilities on the synthesiser were otherworldly, his assertions that he was an alien from Saturn on a mission to preach peace brought him some, perhaps expected, controversy. Regardless of this, he is considered one of the innovate musicians in history thanks to his iconic free improvisation, unique modal explorations and over 100 albums of poignant music.
While Sun Ra himself died in 1993, his long-term collective, The Sun Ra Arkestra, have continued to bear the torch of his work. They play his compositions with remarkable accuracy and authenticity, carrying its transcendent sound into the modern era.
At the helm of the 2019 iteration of the band is Marshall Allen. Still able to out-saxophone most at the impressive age of 95, Allen performed with Ra since the 1950s and if there is one person who knows the musical nuances of the legendary jazzman, its Marshall Allen.
Expect to hear tracks from all corners of Ra’s expansive career, from rediscovered works being heralded as the greats they have become, to known hits and jams full of virtuosic playing ability across every instrument on stage.
Be sure to look out for GIGsoup’s coverage of the Sun Ra Arkestra’s show on October 21st at the iconic London Jazz Café, and grab your own tickets to be part of such an exciting event here.