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Interviews & Essays

Editor: John Sinclair
Out of Print

Format: Paperback
Size: 216mm x 139mm
Page Count: 256
ISBN-13: 9781900486729
Weight (g): 300
Genre: Music

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The author







Composer, bandleader, pianist, poet and philosopher, Sun Ra is one of the most colourful and enduring of musical legacies, transcending time, place and cultural genres.

From the mid 1950s until his death in 1993, Sun Ra led "The Arkestra", an ensemble with an ever-changing line-up and name which sometimes numbered as many as thirty musicians living and playing together under the despotic tutelage of Sun Ra himself. Their music touched upon the entire history of jazz, from ragtime to swing, bebop to free jazz,while the band also pioneered the use of new forms, including electronic music, space music and free improvisation. But Sun Ra’s legendary status was earned as much for his eccentricities as for his unique artistic vision. Claiming to be from Saturn, he developed and propagated a mystifying sci-fi mythology which he weaved into both the music and Dadaist performances of The Arkestra (performances which inspired artists as diverse as George Clinton and MC5). His ideas are still the cause of much debate and controversy, the poetry and prose Sun Ra left behind only deepening the ambiguities around his work and ideas.

This book collects together for the first time interviews with Sun Ra, the people that knew him, and his contemporaries, alongside illuminating essays and conversational pieces regarding his prolific musical output, mystique,  philosophy,  fans and much more.

  1. By way of an Introduction by Peter Dennett
  2. Sun Ra by Amiri Baraka
  3. Sun Ra Visits Planet Earth by John Sinclair
  4. It Knocks on Everybody’s Door by John Sinclair: Interview with Sun Ra, Detroit Sun, 1966
  5. Cosmic Catalyst by David Henderson: Sun Ra in New York City, Oakland & Philadelphia
  6. Word from Sun Ra by Amiri Baraka
  7. Their Space Was My Place by Ben Edmonds: Sun Ra & the MC-5 at the Grande Ballroom, Detroit, 2009
  8. Life Is Splendid by John Sinclair: Sun Ra at the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival, 1972
  9. Interview with Amiri Baraka by Lazaro Vega, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1999
  10. I Know Everything You Need to Know About Music by John Sinclair: A Conversation with Michael Ray
  11. Arkestra in Residence by Rick Steiger: Sun Ra & His Arkestra at the Detroit Jazz Center, 1980
  12. Sun Ra Memories by John Sinclair
  13. Twenty-first Century Music by Pete Gershon: The Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of alto saxophonist Marshall Allen
  14. The Great and Wondrous Sun Ra by John Sinclair: In Conversation with Wayne Kramer, London, June 2008
  15. My Night as a Tone Scientist by Wayne Kramer
  16. Cosmic Engineering: Jerry Dammers & the Spatial aka Orchestra
    Part 1: Interview with Jerry Dammers by John Sinclair & Dylan Harding, London, 2009
    Part 2: Concert reviews by Paul Bradshaw, John Mulvey, Ian Harrison & Jack Massarik
  17. Schwartzegeist by Sadiq Bey: Live from Berlin: The Sun Ra Tribute Project
  18. Sun Ra: Myth, Magic & Music by Steve Fly Agaric 23
  19. The Mystical Estate
    Part 1: Standing in the Shadow of Sun Ra by Dylan Harding
    Part 2: Interview with Haf-fa Rool by David Kerekes & Caleb Selah, London, 2002
  20. Sun Ra on Film by John Sinclair & David Kerekes: The Cry of Jazz & Space is the Place
  21. Sun Ra Obituary by John Sinclair: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 1993
  22. Photos & Comics
    Part 1: Sonny’s Last Song by Mat Colegate & Dan White
    Part 2: Scrapbook
  23. Contributor notes
  24. About this book