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Explore the Cosmos, Vol. 1: Outer Space

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Customer Reviews

A man ahead of all time

When I was sixteen years of age I read an obituary, no more than a blurb, in an issue if time magazine about this man who played jazz from outer space and who whats more claimed to be from there (the planet Saturn to be exact) and there he was, wearing the full regalia the shiny clothes, weird glasses, purple beard and hair... Sun Ra, the one and only jazz bandleader from outer space.

Something about this man in this blurb seemed to call to my depths. I didn't simply forget and move on, I felt the inexorable pull of something deep, numinous, beautiful and beautifully quirky... Something I could not resist. Yet these were the days before the Internet made everything so easy and instantaneous. It was several months before I would actually buy my first sun ra record... In that time I began to experience nocturnal awakenings in which I would hear "space chords" issuing forth from the speakers of my boom box. Then when visiting a city which had a decent college radio station at the time which played jazz during the day, I called and requested a couple of Sun Ra tunes, I was treated to two tunes a rendition of Saturn, and the delicately beautiful and intricately ornate "Spontaneous Simplicity" off of Outer Spaceways incorporated. Within a few days I was visiting the local record store in that same city to order some Sun Ra. Ever since I have never stopped being a fan or tired of plumbing the depth's of Ra's vast body of work, yet I feel I've barely scratched the surface.

Needless to say I am very excited about the release of these new compilations which are organizing and presenting a lot of choice and previously unreleased material in a new way and helping to make it accessible to us here on planet earth. I am also truly heartened. Like many great men, sun ra, although successful in keeping a band together and certainly in making a lot of fantastic innovative "futuristic" music, did not really receive the full measure of appreciation due hum in his time and as I see it is only now starting to see some of that now. In all this time, one hundred years after his arrival on earth Sun Ra's music is still ahead if its time--though we might be finally starting to catch up to him--and his message is inscrutably more relevant. Wake up planet earth from this nightmare of so called "reality". Embrace the myth...the time for your alter destiny has arrived!


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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