Sun Ra Live in Roma 1980 2CD/3LP Box Set

20,00 80,00 

Cat. No. HOL-136
*First edition* 500 copies (100 crystal gold / 400 black). *Second edition* 500 copies (150 clear red / 350 black). Includes 24-page booklet printed with silver ink on Fedrigoni Ultra Black paper. *CD edition* 500 copies. Released under license from Sun Ra LLC.

Born Herman Poole Blount in Alabama during 1914, Sun Ra first emerged on the Chicago jazz scene during the late 1940s. One of the great avant-garde composers of his generation – leading the way on piano, organ, and (eventually) synthesizer – beginning in the mid-1950s and lasting until his death in 1993, led the Arkestra, a band through which a near countless number of important artists passed and collaborated with, and many remained for the duration of their careers, notably Marshall Allen, John Gilmore and June Tyson. Known for their wild costumes and theatrics, Ra’s eccentric image and claims that he was from Saturn was deeply political, imagining an alternate social order, history, and future for African Americans that rests as a pioneering force in the Afro-Futurist movement.

While Sun Ra and his Arkestra can best be located within the broader movements of avant-garde jazz – particularly as innovators of free and spiritual jazz in their evolving forms – the composer was notoriously hard to pin down on creative terms. He was a visionary titan whose work traversed nearly half of the 20th Century, continuously pushing the idiom of jazz at every turn, ingesting and incorporating the entire history African American music – the blues, R&B, soul, gospel, ragtime, hot jazz, swing, bebop, free jazz, and fusion, etc. – into his work, without any division or hierarchy, producing roughly 100 full lengths bear his name, beginning with 1957’s “Jazz By Sun Ra Vol.1”, and stretching well beyond his death in 1993. Despite how much was captured and released, remarkably, rare and previously unheard recordings continue to emerge and amaze.

Recorded live at Teatro Giulio Cesare on March 28, 1980, comprising an astounding 27 compositions, including the highly celebrated “Astro Black”, “Mr. Mystery”, “Romance of Two Planets”, “Space Is the Place”, “We Travel the Spaceways”, and “Calling Planet Earth”, over six vinyl sides. High among the greatest live gigs by the Arkestra captured on tape, carefully mastered by Matt Bordin at Outside Inside Studio, “Live in Rome 1980” is a near perfect snapshot of the band’s versatility and range, including many of their most notably and famous songs, as well as striking renditions of the Horace Henderson penned Benny Goodman number “Big John’s Special”, Fletcher Henderson’s “Yeah Man!”, and “Limehouse Blues”, displaying Ra’s willingness to address and rework the entire, diverse history of jazz in a single go.

Heard in its totality, perhaps what makes “Live in Rome 1980” most striking is the way in which the concert plays out. Roughly the first half encounters the band locked in some of the most out-there, free jazz fire that can be imagined, weaving a startling sense of interplay and furious energy into a brilliant tapestry of writhing sonority, the likes of which were only really achieved by this band. The second half, with only moments of exception that return to the furious energy of the first, is very different affair, easy toward the vocal standards, led by June Tyson’s vocals and the joyous collective chanting of the band, for which they have become so widely celebrated, threading the sounds of off-kilter big band swing with heavy grooves and imagines of outer space.

SKU: HOL136 Category:

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Weight1 kg
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3xLP Box Set (Black Vinyl), 2xCD, 3xLP Box Set (Clear Red Vinyl), 3xLP Box Set (LTD Crystal/Gold Vinyl)