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Calling Planet Earth

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Album Review

This 1998 Freedom three-disc box set is a confusing addition to Sun Ra's discography; while one disc is a straight reissue (of an album already available on compact disc), the other two consist of concert recordings spanning 1966-1971, presumably never before released. The first disc, Outer Spaceways Incoporated, is Ra's 1968 album for Black Lion, which includes as large as a 15-piece band and much chanting as well as playing. The second, Spaceways, includes excerpts from New York City live sessions during 1966 and 1968, with at least a dozen players on each. The final disc is Calling Planet Earth, which includes a 1971 show in Denmark. It may be mostly for collectors, but there are hours of great music on this set in a variety of settings.

Customer Reviews

Sun Ra ain't everyone's cup of tea

But he left a lasting impact on jazz, and embodied a mythology unparalelled. If you don't groove on it, please return to your unchallenging music such as Nickelback and Michael Buble and let those of us who love Sun Ra to groove in peace. Otherwise we'll get on board the ship and return to Saturn.

If you don't get it, you missed the point.

No it's not the "standard" of jazz, but last i checked jazz has never been rated on what is standard... Sun Ra hits the nail on the head... this album is NOT anything you've ever heard before. This music isn't easy to "get". But when you get it, you'll dig it. If you don't... i'm sorry....

show some respect

hey lisener of fine music, the only other music you've reviewed is some lame alternative band, so back off and show some respect for musicians willing to take a chance. Maybe Sun Ra is not your kind of music but if you like music with power and emotion and a healthy dose of insanity, you will like this album.


Born: May 22, 1914 in Birmingham, AL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Of all the jazz musicians, Sun Ra was probably the most controversial. He did not make it easy for people to take him seriously, for he surrounded his adventurous music with costumes and mythology that both looked backward toward ancient Egypt and forward into science fiction. In addition, Ra documented his music in a very erratic fashion on his Saturn label, generally not listing recording dates and giving inaccurate personnel information, so one could not really tell how advanced some of his innovations...
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