There’s perhaps no concise way to talk and Sun Ra and his Arkestra. Herman ‘Sun Ra’ Blount was born on Saturn in 1914 and baptised himself musically with doowop before casually changing the face of Jazz as we know it. But its not jazz as we know it – its the sound of the universe. As if Duke Ellington himself were from Saturn. But then Sun Ra starts a solo Moog exploration, then morphs into a piano trio, a torch song delivering inter-galactic news, then swings cosmically back to the whole great big band. Nearly 200 albums emerged over 7 decades (and they keep appearing), each one nothing like the last. Sadly Sun Ra passed to the celestial plane in 1993 and, since then, the Arkestra has been under the capable direction of Marshall Allen, a member of the band since 1958(!)
Many try to imitate and their influence has grown to new heights in recent years but nothing is quite like the sound of Sun Ra. Having The Sun Ra Arkestra directed by Marshall Allen as the opening act at TUSK Virtual is something we never dreamed we’d be announcing but, by luck, they tell us no Covid-19 has been found on Saturn so they want to play.