World of Jazz Podcast #08 – Sun Ra Special

A Boxing Day special featuring the genius of Sun Ra – listen here

  1. Sun Ra and the Arkestra – El Is A Sound of Joy – Sound of Joy (1957) –  music from the Chicago-based band of the 1950s with ties to the bop and swing traditions that marked his early work. 
  2. Sun Ra Arkestra – Egypt Strut – Egypt Strut (1983) Ra playing the music of Salah Ragab in Egypt in 1983.
  3. Sun Ra and the Intergalactic Space Research Arkestra – King Porter Stomp – Live In Paris At The Gibus (1973) phenomenal cover of Jelly Roll Morton’s “King Porter Stomp” recorded in October 1973.
  4. Sun and His Arkestra – Drop Me Off In Harlem – Nuclear War (1982) one of the rarest discs in Sun Ra’s catalogue. Recorded in 1982,  the album disappeared until 2001 when the Chicago-based Atavistic label made it part of their  “Unheard Music Series.”
  5. Sun Ra and his Intergalaxtic Arkestra – Frisco Fog – Second Star To The Right (1989)  Ra got into a Disney phase around 1989 when asked to interpret “Pink Elephants on Parade” from Dumbo for a pop tribute album to Disney called Stay Awake.
  6. Sun Ra and his Arkestra – Door Of The Cosmos – Sleeping Beauty (1979) one of the great Ra albums – very chilled and memorable for the use of electric bass and guitar.
  7. Sun Ra and his Arkestra – My Favourite Things – Some Blues But Not The Kind That’s Blue (1977) Ra concentrating on the standards and playing within the confines of the music rather than his more extreme explorations.
  8. Sun Ra and his Intergalactic Cosmo Arkestra – We Travel The Spaceways – Live at Montreux (1976) Another classic live set from Ra and the team.
  9. Sun Ra – The World Shadow – Featuring Pharoah Sanders and Black Harold (1972) an amazing mix of cascading piano, dense, counterpointed free bop and chaotic discourse leading into ritual African drumming. The earliest known recorded performance of “The Shadow World” (here reverse-named as “The World Shadow”), a complex structured piece which was to feature on several of Ra’s better known records of subsequent years, notably The Magic City.
  10. Sun Ra and his Solar Myth Arkestra – Walking On The Moon – My Brother The Wind Vol 2 (1970) another late 60s album which is regarded as a classic with a 15-piece group with eight horns, two drums and three percussionists.
  11. Le Sun Ra and his Arkestra – Springtime In Chicago – Supersonic Jazz – Sun Ra had only been leading his Arkestra for a couple of years when they recorded the 12 songs featured on this 1956 session.
  12. Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra- Reflections In Blue – Visits Planet Earth Interstellar Low Ways (1956) from a session in Chicago….originally intended for the Sound of Joy album.


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