On the first day of 2013, I wanted to expand your mind a bit. I came across this documentary off of BBC Four from the great Don Letts that I wanted to pass along. I was fortunate to see the Sun Ra Arkestra in the 90’s, and let me tell you I don’t think I’ll ever see anything like that ever again. Since that time, I have been curious about their Free Jazz sound, but had limited exposure to them other than his funky “Atlantis” track that I spin out from time to time. A good friend of mine, who is a huge Sun Ra fan, has always passed stuff on to me, and been a huge supporter of the man. Shout out to Rick M. for introducing this great artist’s music to me. This documentary takes a deep look inside the man’s life, his music, and the multitude of players that tell the story of this “24 hour musician”, who gave up his worldly possessions (past and future) to spread his Cosmic Consciousness.
“Sun Ra was a record collector’s dream musician. Here you had an industry of putting out records that was so from the bedroom. ” -Thurston Moore
With a finger on the pulse of the future and his mind on tomorrow’s headlines, Sun Ra’s DIY approach to music was really unlike no other. Releasing over 200 plus records on his own label, his hand drawn record covers are coveted by enthusiasts and collectors today. Often just sold at their live shows, I can just imagine the atmosphere in their hey day, and being able to buy this special vinyl. A self proclaimed space traveler from Saturn, he had support from greats like John Coltrane and Archie Shepp among others. When he left this earth, the Arkestra itself was supposed to break apart. In fact, quite the opposite happened. The Arkestra grew, took different shapes and moved on under Ra’s oldest members, first John Gillmore, then Marshall Allen. According to his website, Allen continues the Sun Ra legacy at the “Sun Ra Residence in Philadelphia, composing, writing and arranging for the Arkestra much like his mentor, totally committed to a life of discipline centered totally on the study, research, and further development of Sun Ra’s musical precepts.”
Open your eyes and ears in 2013, there is always something new for you to learn. Thank you for the support of Flea Market Funk, and as we enter our sixth year, we look forward to bringing you something different each and every day.
Sometimes in the amazing ignorance
I hear things and see things
I never knew I saw and heard before
Sometimes in the ignorance
I feel the meaning
Invincible invisible wisdom,
And I commune with intuitive instinct
With the force that made life be
And since it made life be
It is greater than life
And since it let extinction be
It is greater than extinction.
I commune with feelings more than
For there is nothing else to ask for
That companionship is
And it is superior to any other is.
Sometimes in my amazing ignorance
Others see me only as they care to see
I am to them as they think
According the standard I should not be
And that is the difference between I and them
Because I see them as they are to is
And not the seeming isness of the was.