PRICE:
$27.00
IN STOCK
ARTIST
TITLE
Live in Roma 1980
FORMAT
2CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
HOL 136CD HOL 136CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
6/14/2024

Born Herman Poole Blount in Alabama during 1914, Sun Ra first emerged on the Chicago jazz scene during the late 1940s. One of the great avant-garde composers of his generation -- leading the way on piano, organ, and (eventually) synthesizer -- beginning in the mid-1950s and lasting until his death in 1993, led the Arkestra, a band through which a near countless number of important artists passed and collaborated with, and many remained for the duration of their careers, notably Marshall Allen, John Gilmore, and June Tyson. Known for their wild costumes and theatrics, Ra's eccentric image and claims that he was from Saturn was deeply political, imagining an alternate social order, history, and future for African Americans that rests as a pioneering force in the Afro-Futurist movement. Recorded live at Teatro Giulio Cesare on March 28, 1980, comprising an astounding 27 compositions, including the highly celebrated "Astro Black," "Mr. Mystery," "Romance of Two Planets," "Space Is the Place," "We Travel the Spaceways," and "Calling Planet Earth." High among the greatest live gigs by the Arkestra captured on tape, carefully mastered by Matt Bordin at Outside Inside Studio, Live in Rome 1980 is a near perfect snapshot of the band's versatility and range, including many of their most notably and famous songs, as well as striking renditions of the Horace Henderson penned Benny Goodman number "Big John's Special," Fletcher Henderson's "Yeah Man!," and "Limehouse Blues," displaying Ra's willingness to address and rework the entire, diverse history of jazz in a single go. Heard in its totality, perhaps what makes Live in Rome 1980 most striking is the way in which the concert plays out. Roughly the first half encounters the band locked in some of the most out-there, free jazz fire that can be imagined, weaving a startling sense of interplay and furious energy into a brilliant tapestry of writhing sonority, the likes of which were only really achieved by this band. The second half, with only moments of exception that return to the furious energy of the first, is a very different affair, easy toward the vocal standards, led by June Tyson's vocals and the joyous collective chanting of the band, for which they have become so widely celebrated, threading the sounds of off-kilter big band swing with heavy grooves and imagines of outer space.