December 26, 2010

Sun Ra Sunday

Happy Holidays from Santa Ra!


Anonymous said...

Hello from Belarus, Rodger!

Sorry for my English if something is wrong, Russian is much more easier for me, but my friend from Japan says Japanese is the easiest :)
Just found your blog and must say "Thank you very much!!!" a lot of times. I was a bit surprised that there are just a few comments, so this is somewhat of my comment. I hope (and wish you that) many more people to know about your blog in the future.
Last year's September (and last September again!) I visited Egypt. It was amazing to trip to Cairo and Giza and to see the Pyramids. But it was not less exciting experience for me to see the Sound and Light Theater, where the Grateful Dead shows took place in 1978, it is just few rows of seats (now much less than I saw on the pictures of the event) in the shadow of Sphynx. Since then I had a bit of interest on who else of artists visited Egypt with concerts and found just a few ones in my research: Jean-Michel Jarre, Agitation Free, and... Sun Ra. I only begin to discover Sun Ra's music for myself, so you can imagine my headache when I tried to get any information and to organise a huge mountain of releases in my mind. But sometimes surprises happen, and I manage to find very useful places in the space. Last Sunday it was Sun Ra Album-by-Album Thread and then a link to your wonderful blog. Thank you (and Sam Byrd, too) for excellent analyses you do. All your posts are very interesting. I have enjoyed reading. It is just what I wanted. As I see you begin since 1961 NY Workshop recordings onward. And now we are somewhere in the middle of 1973 (after two years of blogging!). I look forward to new Sun Ra Sundays and hope there will be the continuing of the story soon, not only the poetry. Any chance for Chicago albums digest and "The Futuristic Sounds Of Sun Ra" (1961) for completeness? And how about San Ra Other Days for additional information/upgrades, i.e. "The Paris Tapes 1971" and "Live In London 1970" have been released.

A lot of new interesting releases and discoveries for you in New Year!
Best wishes and Happy New Year,
- Andrei

Rodger Coleman said...


Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments! I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to know that half-way around the world you are reading my humble blog with such interest! Your English is quite good—much better than my Russian could ever be (or Japanese for that matter). Your trip(s) to Egypt sound fascinating. I would love to hear more about that!

To tell you the truth, Sun Ra Sunday came about by accident, actually. As the whole “financial crisis” unfolded in 2007 I could only think of Ra’s refrain, “It’s after the end of the world, don’t you know that yet?” Later, when I started to get “serious” about it, I began with The Choreographer’s Workshop period because I am particularly fond of those recordings and they are scattered across various releases, causing considerable confusion in my mind. I do not pretend to be any kind of expert on Sun Ra, although I am, obviously, a huge fan; I am basically feeling my way through the discography to get a handle on what is there. Now, two years later (!), I do kind of regret not starting from the beginning, but I’m committed now, I guess. My plan (such as it is) is to continue through 1980 and “Sunrise In Different Dimensions” and then double back to the very beginning, leaving the 80s-90s for later (if ever). I started doing this for my own edification but it is nice to know others find it worth reading.

Re: “The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra.” That is one of my very favorite albums and it actually would have made an excellent starting point or prelude to The Choreographer’s Workshop recordings. Alas, it will have to wait until…when? Your comment has certainly inspired me to maybe pick up the pace a bit….

Re: “The Paris Tapes 1971.” I have had some difficulty locating a copy of this here in the states for some reason. After several vexed attempts to order online, it has supposedly shipped to me today from California. I can’t wait to have this CD in my hands! Sam Byrd played me selections from this when I saw him on Monday and I can report that the sound-quality is superb—especially as compared to the atrocious bootleg tape I previously reviewed. Believe me: I will update my post regarding this concert once I have had a chance to absorb this new release.

Re: “London 1970.” To be perfectly honest, I am wary of the Transparency label. On paper, this looks to be a significant upgrade from the dismal recording that circulates but I need to hear some trustworthy first-hand reports confirming such before I’m willing to shell out the cash. This is another excellent concert where the circulating tape sounds just awful. Have you heard it? How does it sound? Please let me know!

Again, thank you for your comment and best wishes to you and yours in the New Year!


yotte said...

Hey Rodger,
I have to agree with Andrei, your blog and reviews are a treasure. There are so few thoughtful reviews of Sun Ra's material available - it's so nice to read through the Sunday posts.

I'm glad you found a copy of The Paris Tapes. I think it's absolutely fantastic from beginning to end.

re. the Transparency release, you are welcome to email me (contact info is in my google profile) and I can help. There are some great moments but the recording is distant and the track labels could be more accurate.

I sure wish you a happy new year to come and look forward to your weekly gratification of my Sun Ra obsession!

Rodger Coleman said...

@yotte -- thank you so much for your kind comments and sorry for the delay in responding. It's funny, just as I was wondering what the point of all this is, I get these two nice comments from strangers expressing their appreciation. It was really the boost I needed to pick up the pace a little bit. While I am mostly doing this for myself, it IS nice to know others are reading. Best wishes and Happy New Year! --Rodger

Anonymous said...

regular reader, almost never poster.