He took up the tenor saxophone while serving in the United States Air Force from 1948 to 1952, then pursued a musical career, playing briefly with pianist Earl Hines before encountering Sun Ra in 1953.. For the next four decades, Gilmore recorded and performed almost exclusively with Sun Ra. As he grew in his own vision, Sun Ra went so far as to claim he had come from Saturn. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama. The Cosmo-biography of Sun Ra is a lengthy picture book for middle schoolers. Died May 30, 1993, also in Birmingham, Alabama. Le Sony'r Ra, better known as Sun Ra, was an American jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, and poet known for his experimental music, "cosmic" philosophy, prolific output, and theatrical performances. Sun Ra was created on, may 22, 1914 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA while Herman Poole Blount. For a man who claimed citizenship on the planet Saturn, Sun Ra traveled galaxies away from his Alabama roots where he was born Herman (Sonny) Blount. Herman Blount (1914-1993), who later became known as Sun Ra, was a Birmingham native and visionary musician whose jazz styling and personal mythology left a lasting impression on modern music. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. 1 also appeared on producer Tom Wilson's Transition Records. He showed that, with imagination, commitment and a love of beauty, one can create one’s own future and make the impossible real. Ra died in 1993, and Gilmore led the Arkestra until his death in 1995, at which point Allen took over. Works better in Chrome or Firefox browsers. Posthumous albums of live material have appeared on labels such as DIW, Leo Records, and Kindred Spirits. He and his music are featured in the films The Cry of Jazz (1959), Space Is the Place (1971), and Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise (1980). Selected discography. This website uses javascript to show most of the elements. The Sun Ra Arkestra is the name most commonly used for the current incarnation of Sun Ra's original band, now led by Marshall Allen. Sun Ra biography and related resources. Herman Blount (1914-1993), who later became known as Sun Ra, was a Birmingham native and visionary musician whose jazz styling and personal mythology left a lasting impression on modern music. In 2010, Norton Records released a series of "Space Poetry" LPs containing Ra's spoken word material. The Sun Ra discography is one of the largest discographies in music history. Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blount, legal name Le Sony'r Ra; May 22, 1914 – May 30, 1993) was a prolific jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, poet and philosopher known for his "cosmic philosophy," musical compositions and performances. After moving to New York in 1961, Ra performed some of his most advanced work. My love of STAR WARS stems from the influence Sun-Ra had on my family. Earthlings themselves confused Sun Ra, the way they sorted themselves by color and fought wars against one another. Sun Ra was one of the great modern visionaries: he not only had a dream, but lived it to the full for over 40 years. Related Posts. Albums include Lanquidity, Space Is the Place, and Jazz in Silhouette. Ra graduated from Parker High School. Sun Ra, Paul Bley Allen is best known for his work with Sun Ra , having recorded and performed mostly in this context since the late 1950s, and having led Sun Ra's Arkestra since 1993. According to John Szwed’s seminal biography of Sun Ra, “Space is the Place,” “Abraham was philosophical by nature, serious and scholarly, with a deep interest in science, metaphysics, and Bible scholarship.” He clicked with Sun Ra—who at the time was still going by the name Sonny—and the two quickly became inseparable. Be the first to contribute! Updates? I found that this book was very long for a picture book. Sun Ra Net Worth is $13 Million Mini Biography. In 2000, Szwed published a study of Sun Ra, Space is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra. Bandleader, composer, arranger, keyboard player, poet, philosopher, and cosmonaut Sun Ra advanced jazz into the space age. The name Re was from Upper Egypt and the name Amun came from Lower Egypt. Establishing their interstellar mystique, the group sported futuristic costumes during their outlandish performances, and recorded constantly, issuing records through Ra's independent label El Saturn Records, often with misleading or nonexistent liner notes. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Presumably due to Sun Ra's own purposeful lack of clarity, little else is known about his early childhood. Amun Ra simply means: Hidden Light (Amun = Hidden/ Ra = Light) Recent research findings show us that Amun (Amen or Amon) is a modern god, within the ambits of Egyptian mythology. As he grew in his own vision, Sun Ra went so far as to claim he had come from Saturn. Just click the "Edit page" button at the bottom of the page or learn more in the Biography submission guide. He led bands for nearly 60 years. PKM: I read your Sun Ra biography [Space Is The Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra] in 1997, when it was first published, and reviewed it for the Advocate newspapers. Since Sun Ra's death, the Arkestra has continued to perform under the direction of Allen. On October 20, 1952 he legally changed his name into Le Sony'r Ra. There were paragraphs on each page. The sun, and therefore Ra, represented life, warmth, and growth to ancient Egyptians. Gilmore was raised in Chicago and played clarinet from the age of 14. Sun Ra discography and songs: Music profile for Sun Ra, born 22 May 1914. Submit Corrections. Sun Ra was one of the great modern visionaries: he not only had a dream, but lived it to the full for over 40 years. Jazz keyboardist, bandleader and composer Sun Ra recorded dozens of singles and over one hundred full-length albums, comprising well over 1000 songs, and making him one of the … Since 1954, Marshall Allen has been the ferocious core of the Arkestra. Born May 22, 1914 in Birmingham, Alabama, as Herman Poole "Sonny" Blount. Sun Ra & the Year 2000 Myth Science Arkestra, The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. Genres: Avant-Garde Jazz, Free Jazz, Post-Bop. Sun Ra was born Herman (Sonny) Blount in 1914, in Birmingham, Alabama. Ra’s name came from Re and Amun. He also was a pioneer of modal jazz settings; among his early works, “Ancient Aiethopia” most successfully unites the diverse strands of his composing. This website uses javascript to show most of the elements. Critic Jason Ankeny [2] describes Marshall as "one of the most distinctive and original saxophonists of the postwar era." Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Sun Ra’s music and life are already astonishing, and Szwed uses his gifts of scholarship and relentless clarity to reveal this incredible story rather than try to compose it. Sun Ra's musical career is hard to generalize about. Bandleader, composer, arranger, keyboard player, poet, philosopher, and cosmonaut Sun Ra advanced jazz into the space age. Ra was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1969. The Arkestra has continued to perform since Ra's passing in 1993, and he remains a crucial influence on all forms of creative, forward-thinking music. He was known for his experimental music.For much of his career, Ra led "The Arkestra", an ensemble with an ever-changing name and flexible line-up. Sun Ra was one of the great modern visionaries: he not only had a dream, but lived it to the full for over 40 years. Presumably due to Sun Ra's own purposeful lack of clarity, little else is known about his early childhood. Following several singles, including songs recorded with doo wop and R&B vocal groups such as the Qualities and the Cosmic Rays, early albums released by the Arkestra on El Saturn Records included Super-Sonic Jazz and Jazz in Silhouette. The Sun Ra discography is one of the largest discographies in music history. Sun Ra, byname of Le Sony’r Ra, original name Herman Blount ,byname Sonny, (born May 22, 1914, Birmingham, Ala., U.S.—died May 30, 1993, Birmingham), American jazz composer and keyboard player who led a free jazz big band known for its innovative instrumentation and the theatricality of its performances. Sun Ra Biography (Wikipedia) Le Sony'r Ra (born Herman Poole Blount, May 22, 1914 – May 30, 1993), better known as Sun Ra, was an American jazz … Sun Ra was born Herman (Sonny) Blount in 1914, in Birmingham, Alabama. Or, if you prefer a more straightforward approach to your musical biographies, Sun Ra was born Herman P. Blount in Birmingham, Alabama in 1914. Sun Ra Family, Childhood, Life Achievements, Facts, Wiki and Bio of 2017. Sun Ra was one of the most unusual musicians in the history of jazz, moving from Fletcher Henderson swing to free jazz with ease, sometimes in the same song. Presumably due to Sun Ra ’ s own purposeful lack of clarity, little else is known about his early childhood. Biography. Corrections? In this sense, composition is necessarily distinct from improvisation.…. Sun Ra death: May 30, 1993; Birmingham, Alabama. Sun Ra was born on the planet Saturn, ages ago, and spent some time on Earth using the power of music to demonstrate the virtues of discipline and harmony to members of this planet. While Ra's music, mythology, and appearance went over the heads of many listeners and audience members, he was praised by jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. Space was the Place when eye was growing up. Jazz musician Sun Ra (1914–1993) always said that he came from Saturn. Reissue Desires [2014 Expanded Edition] Sun Ra Biography by Scott Yanow + Follow Artist. Gilmore led the Arkestra on dates when Ra was too ill to perform. Benjamin Boone: The Poets Are Gathering He passed away on, may 30, 1993 in Birmingham. Benjamin Boone: The Poets Are Gathering If you don't see the contents properly, try to activate javascript. U.K. label Strut also released a few notable compilations, including In the Orbit of Ra (presented by Allen) and To Those of Earth... and Other Worlds (mixed by Gilles Peterson), as well as a more extensive compendium of his singles. Omissions? Sun Ra (1914– 1993) was an innovative jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesiser player, who came to be known as much for his Cosmic Afro-futurist Philosophy as for his phenomenal musical compositions and performances. My jaw started dropping on page one and it continued from there. Earthlings themselves confused Sun Ra, the way they sorted themselves by Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Lanquidity is a studio album by American jazz musician Sun Ra originally released in 1978 by Philly Jazz (with a shiny silver cover) and reissued on HDCD by Evidence Records in 2000 (with a light grey cover). Sun Ra & the Year 2000 Myth Science Arkestra Sun Ra Arkestra Sun Ra Omniverse Arkestra Sun Ra Quartet. Paying no mind to legalities, the Union local identified him as Herman Blount—we figure this was the name that was on the contract. Ra suffered a stroke in 1990, but he still continued to lead the Arkestra and compose music. He attended the Alabama University, then still an agricultural college. Ra is the Egyptian god of the Sun. He was named after the popular vaudeville stage magician Black Herman, who had deeply impressed his mother. Ra, the Sun God. 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