Whenever I think of Sun Ra I feel his soul traveling the cosmos, connecting with the planets and solar systems he was always in direct transmission with in his time on Earth.
Sun Ra and His Arkestra’s Thunder of the Gods the new Sun Ra LP touches ground in the earthly bins, 50 years after its creation!
Sun Ra is still trying to get our attention 50 years after dispatching this transmission. Humanity’s path since then makes his message even more urgent today. Years after Herman Poole “LeSony’r Ra” Blount “left the planet” he’s still trying to reach us, to wake us up and to change our destiny.
Sun Ra and the Arkestra weren’t a traditional studio band, and every star in the vast galaxy of their discography reflects this. The origins of these records can be hard to pinpoint at times, but when it comes to Thunder Of The Gods, it’s a bit easier. “Calling Planet Earth – We’ll Wait For You” was discovered on tapes from Ra’s, Universe In Blue, believed to be recorded in ’71. The raucous title track and “Moonshots Across the Sky” are unearthed from the ’66 Strange Strings sessions. Modern Harmonic has once again paired Ra’s sonic art with the visual art of “The Father of Modern Space Art,” Chesley Bonestell, whose 1952 work ”Formation of the Earth’s Continents” sprawls across the front and back covers.
“Thanks to Modern Harmonic, in partnership with Sun Ra LLC, soon you will be holding an album of unreleased Sun Ra music 50 years after it was recorded! That this music survived to reach our ears after all of this time is quite a miraculous gift. It sounds as though it could have come from either the ancient past or the distant future, yet most perfectly, it’s the music of right now.” — Christopher Eddy (Sun Ra Arkive)
If you were going to envision the ultimate avant-garde meeting-of-the-minds jam session, who would you pick? Even the most hopeful fan of strange and innovative music couldn’t have seen this one coming: on one afternoon in 1986, at Coney Island’s dilapidated freak show, space-age avant-jazz genius Sun Ra met avant-garde “serious music” composer John Cage in an unforgettable performance.
You couldn’t imagine two figures more opposite. Cage was known for his unusual approach to composition, using objects such as radios and television sets, as well as pure silence, as instruments, often encouraging his musicians to do other things at their whim on stage. Sun Ra, on the other hand, was a jazz arranger known for his “space-age” approach to jazz, adding free-jazz and surrealist elements into a musical form that Cage often disdained — improvisational music. And yet, for one afternoon, they pooled their talents — Ra playing keyboards, leading his small group and reading his unusual poetry; Cage “performing” vocal readings and passages of vocal sound — plus his trademark silence — designed to baffle and disorient. The combination is breathtaking, both organic and mechanical, free-form and totally composed.
For the very first time, Modern Harmonic presents the full and unexpurgated concert from 1986, stretched out across two LPs. In addition to never-before-heard songs and musical passages, this album at last presents the long-rumored co-performance between the two musical giants, all lovingly packaged in new artwork that captures the stark brilliance of the music. Take yourself back to 1986 and a once-in-a-lifetime performance that you can finally hear as it was intended. Double LP on clear vinyl!!
Also available on compact disc!