Artist picture of Sun Ra

Sun Ra

13 767 fans

Artist's top tracks

When There Is No Sun feat. John Gilmore Sun Ra 04:27
Lanquidity Sun Ra 08:21
Where Pathways Meet Sun Ra 06:32
Space is the Place Sun Ra 09:47
China Gates Sun Ra 03:22
What's That Sun Ra 02:13
Dreaming Sun Ra, The Cosmic Rays, The Cosmic Rays With Sun Ra And Arkestra 02:44
That’s How I Feel Sun Ra 12:10
New Day Sun Ra 05:49
Twin Stars of Thence Sun Ra 09:51

Latest release

Ellingtonia (Vol. 1)

by Sun Ra

03/06/22

30 fans

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Biography

Dressed in galactic, sequined robes and claiming to be an alien from Saturn, Sun Ra was one of music's most charismatic mad men, creating experimental, free-form, psychedelic jazz and running his Arkestra with an iron fist. Born Herman ‘Sonny’ Blount on May 22, 1914, in Birmingham, Alabama, he was a child piano prodigy and would memorize and fully transcribe performances of big band jazz artists that he saw in concert. Avoiding military service because of a chronic hernia condition that caused him constant pain, he cut his teeth in 1940s Chicago nightclubs, arranging, and playing in Fletcher Henderson's house band and recording as a sideman for Eugene Wright and the Dukes of Swing. He formed his own "space trio" in 1952, which expanded into the Sun Ra Arkestra for debut album Jazz by Sun Ra (1956) and was regarded as the first jazz artist to use electronic keyboards and synthesizers. His avant-garde, oddball, space jazz was refined with grueling, endless rehearsal sessions and amongst the thousands of records he released, Jazz in Silhouette (1959), The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra (1962), Heliocentric Worlds (1965), Atlantis (1969), Space Is the Place (1973) and Nuclear War (1982) stand out as landmarks. He died at the age of 79 on May 30, 1993 after contracting pneumonia, but his legacy of flamboyant, Afro-futurism and experimental sonic soundscapes continues to influence scores of cult, boundary-pushing artists from George Clinton to the Velvet Underground to Aphex Twin. While highly respected during his lifetime, Sun Ra’s reputation since his death has risen well beyond ‘legendary’ and ‘iconic’ status. His recorded catalog continues to expand with previously unreleased recordings and compilations including the 14CD set The Eternal Myth Revealed Vol. 1 (2011) and the vinyl reissues of classic albums such as The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra, the 1962 album that was reissued on vinyl and CD for its 60th anniversary.