Sun Ra was one of the greatest and least known jazz artists of the last four decades. Composer, bandleader, pianist, poet and Afro-Futurist philosopher, he founded his Arkestra to take jazz into unexplored territories – his style drawing simultaneously on black vaudeville, modern dance, Egyptian cosmology, Eastern philosophy, surrealism, kitsch, and the Bible.
The Arkestra performs today led by 92-year young alto saxophonist and long-time Ra collaborator Marshall Allen. The mischievous brass blasts and the grooves keep rolling, as the big band – fully dressed, as usual, in space capes with a hint of Ancient Egypt – takes off once again in a joyous burst of tightly organised madness.
Marshall Allen (director, alto sax, flute)
Cecil Brooks (trumpet)
Tara Middleton (vocals, violin)
Knoel Scott (vocal, saxes)
James Stewart (tenor sax)
Danny Ray Thompson (baritone sax)
Dave Davis (trombone)
George Burton (piano)
Dave Hotep (guitar)
Elson Nascimento (percussion, surdo)
Tyler Mitchell (bass)
Wayne Anthony Smith Jr (drums)
‘One of the most disciplined yet free thinking collectives of 20th century music’ The Quietus