Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Part One of Musical Anomalies: Sun Ra
I remember hearing "Space Is The Place" for the first time and the fact was then and now that I had nothing musical in store to compare the Arkestra to. Perhaps the closest match was free form jazz but the subject matter was like nothing I had ever heard in that genre as well as the fact African-American artists were more focused on social issues. Ra did incorporate social issues of his community and yet transcend any pigeon hole I could have fit him into as a innovator that brought to mind one big blank as Ra synthesized multiple traditions at once and yet brought them into such a unique context his music as a precursor to those influenced by him such as George Clinton Peter Gabriel's Genesis or simply philosophy performed as surrealistic musical theater. The man was a genius..who followed his own instincts without compromise.
Somehow it seems that the true innovators of a musical stripe take a backseat in popular music when it comes to rhyming moon with June or in an era of glossy, prefabricated selling points that act as mind balm.
Folks like Sun Ra slip beneath the surface, ignored, hardly noticed..largely forgotten. I thought a short series of posts on musical anomalies by obscure artists might be a change of pace There will never be another Sun Ra, which encapsulates the posting of this BBC documentary from the Youtube archive.
Out of the box and into the blue.