Monday, 21 June 2010

Sun Ra - If You Find Earth Boring...

 ‘Nothing Is’ is no longer in my collection, which is a mystery because I don’t remember selling it – but I have a theory that the good Lady may have taken it one day thinking ‘He won’t miss it’. And she was right, because I’ve only just found it missing – she took it as punishment for me playing Ra, loudly, whilst she was in the bunker....perhaps...
   I don’t have a favourite Ra record as would be like choosing your favourite star in the cosmos...or animal on the planet – stupid. I keep on hearing Ra anew because he’s deeper than abortion, deeper than the notion that the world was flat when it was round - that sentiment comes courtesy of Parliament, thanks boys – well there is a mothership connection between Ra and the P-Funk mob, after all.
   ‘Nothing Is’ in a new extended form is good news for us space cadets. It’s brilliant, of course. If you want a more objective opinion, ask a moron. I don’t see how you can be ‘objective’ about may as well try distancing yourself from love and analysing that. This music requires commitment, like school, except you don’t leave this one, keep on learning just how amazing the man and his orchestra were. I know Ra’s not ‘easy’ for many folks, but as the man said in his poem, ‘The Endless Universe’: ‘the past is an eternity / All its own’, just like his music.  
   Furthermore, Art Yard have just release material from the 6-night Detroit Jazz centre residency in 1980, ‘Beyond the Purple Star Zone / Oblique Parallax’. If you’re not one of the lucky few who own the Transparency box set of all the music made over those nights, this is well worth owning.
   Some might suggest consuming mind-altering substances in an effort to open the doors of perception to Ra’s music – me, I’m OD-ing on Thornton’s Brazil nut toffee right now – phew, I tell you, this music and that taste, it’s some trip.
   Rick Steiger, who organised the Detroit jazz centre gigs, recalls the experience in a new book from Headpress called ‘Sun Ra – Interviews And Essays’. A commendable addition to Ra-related literature which also includes a poem by Amiri Baraka along with interviews (with Ra himself , and Wayne Kramer, making the MC5 connection with editor John Sinclair). There’s even an interview with Jerry Dammers in relation to his Spatial AKA project.
   There’s only one interview with Ra, and that’s a bit disappointing, but it really is worth getting. Kramer recalls what it was like presenting Ra along with MC5 to Detroit ‘greasers’, how the atmosphere was initially chilly because they were there to rock, of course. He claims they ‘stood still long enough – their minds stayed open long enough, and then they heard it.’. That’s all you have to do, really.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...