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Sun Ra and his Arkestra Vinyl, CD & tapes by Sun Ra and his Arkestra at Norman Records

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Sun Ra
Media Dreams

Sun Ra captured in quartet mode during a 1978 stay in Italy. John Gilmore, Luqman Ali and Michael Ray were the sidemen, and the combination of a smaller-than-Arkestra ensemble and a ’string synthesizer’ keyboard called the Crumar Mainman (only used by Ra for this year) opens up some intriguing and unusual territory within the Sun Ra oeuvre. On Art Yard.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra
Singles (The Definitive 45s Collection Vol. 2: 1962-1991)

The second volume of Strut’s compilation of Sun Ra’s many many singles gets a vinyl release. The Definitive 45s Collection includes a huge variety of Ra’s styles: he seemed to view singles (often pressed in very small runs) as opportunities to try things as strange as quasi-disco, spoken word, R&B and more. Three LPs of rare material, accompanied by detailed track-by-track liner notes. On Strut.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra and His Arkestra
Featuring Pharoah Sanders and Black Harold

This cracking 1964 live set from New York’s Judson Hall was released in 1976 and became one of the rarest El Saturn LPs. The 12-piece Arkestra features a young Pharoah Sanders sitting in on a for an absent John Gilmore, and flautist Black Harold shines on the vocalised solo The Voice of Pan. Overall the album captures Ra & co at a fertile transitional period and is strikingly varied, dynamic and vibrantly recorded. This new Superior Viaduct reissue restores the original cover art (unused on the ESP CD) and adds three tracks.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra
Monorails & Satellites - Works For Solo Piano Vol 1, 2, 3

There is always more to be found in the deep cosmos of the Sun Ra catalogue. Monorails & Satellite are solo piano albums recorded in 1966, which capture our intergalactic hero showing his unique yet virtuoso approach to the keys. Volume 3 of this triple set was never originally released, and the other two aren’t exactly easy to come by. Reissue sets on Cosmic Myth.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra
Singles (The Definitive 45s Collection Vol. 1: 1952-1991)

Definitive collection gets bandied about quite a lot, but this one is undeniably so. Covering the singles from Sun Ra released between 1952 and 1991. All remastered and packaged with rare photos, the original artworks, and session notes track by track. A pretty good way of learning the mysterious and mental ins and outs of the inimitable Sun Ra.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra
Janus

Janus is a collection of tracks taken numerous rare and differing sources from Sun Ra and the band that followed him round so loyally. The tracks featured in this five-track record were recored between 1960 and 1970 and contain live and studio performances. Available on vinyl LP and released on Warners. 
  • Vinyl LP (711574835713PMI)
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  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra & His Cosmo Discipline Arkestra
A Night In East Berlin

Post-Materialization Music (Ceramic Hobs, Kylie Minoise) reissue this 1986 tape from Sun Ra & His Cosmo Discipline Arkestra. Though A Night In East Berlin may not come from Sun Ra’s most revolutionary period, it still finds him operating on a different (astral) plane to many of his pretenders. It is masterly the way his band move between free-form wig-outs, cosmic synth-play and gorgeous post-bop. The East Berlin setting gives the record a little extra tension.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra
Astro Black

A Sun Ra album that manages to have more of the mystique about it than usual. It was allegedly recorded at El Saturn Studio in Chicago, a studio that has no record of ever having existed. Well, Astro Black definitely exists and in typical 'Ra' fashion will take you all the way to space. Pressed on purple vinyl on Modern Harmonic.  
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra
The Cymbals / Symbols Sessions: New York City 1973

Recorded in 1973, The Cymbals / Symbols Sessions are for anyone who's ever Wondered / Wandered what Sun Ra's vision might look like when processed with electronics. The second LP contains never before released material from these sessions. Pressed on green and red coloured vinyl by Modern Harmonic.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra & His Myth-Science Solar Arkestra
Lost Ark Series Vol 1 & 2

Art Yard have put both volumes of their Lost Arkestra volumes into one package. Two 10” including several live recordings from rare and hard to find performances including Along Came Ra from 1983, two unreleased tracks from Sun Ra’s Disco 3000 tapes from their 1978 concert in Milan, as well as a few others. Collectors, come get your fill.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra
Of Abstract Dreams

It’s unlikely that the cosmos boasts many ensembles more hard-working or prolific than Sun Ra’s Arkestra, so it shouldn’t be surprising that quality recordings keep turning up decades after the fact. This release captures a mind-seventies session for Philadelphia’s WXPN FM. Sonny sticking to piano, debuting live favourite I’ll Wait For You, and throwing in the goofy Unmask the Batman among longer and more intense workouts. LP or CD, remastered from the original tapes.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra & His Solar Arkestra
The Magic City

Fully restored and then some, this pressing of Sun Ra's behemoth Magic City goes long on its history via free jazz aficionado Ben Young. Notable for its near-thirty minute skronk sprawl title track, the record became something of a kept secret, the piece never getting a live outing due to its unique, impermeable sound. 
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra & His Astro Infinity Arkestra
My Brother The Wind Vol. 1

This 1970 album features Sun Ra excitedly wrenching some seriously wild and transportive sonics out of his new Moog synth, backed by Arkestra stalwarts John Gilmore, Marshall Allen and Danny Davis. As with their recent reissue of The Magic City, Cosmic Myth have done a superb job with this 2LP version, adding the side-long Space Probe and alternate takes of the funky single The Perfect Man. The entirely different Vol. 2 has been more widely reissued and is better known, so don’t let the near-identical sleeve confuse you!
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra And His Arkestra
To Those Of Earth… And Other Worlds

To Those of Earth….and Other Worlds is a compilation of Sun Ra and his Arkestra chosen by DJ Giles Peterson. Sun Ra is a true original - a Jazz eccentric decked out in gold lame who apparently came from outer space. His commitment to music is not to be questioned however, due to his massive 125 album back catalogue. This collection follows up the In The Orbit Of Ra compilation which featured tracks chosen by avant-garde saxophonist, Marshall Allen.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra
Discipline 27-II

This here was one of this year's "Record"... "Store"... "Day" releases? Doesn't ring a bell. It's a special one nonetheless, guaranteeing a new pressing of some of Sun Ra's most interesting work. Made in the same sessions as the revered Space Is the Place, this Saturn release offers further post-bop and avant-garde insights from an artist we've all pretty much come to agree was on a course of his own.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra
Hello Mr. Schimmel

This one would go under the very special category for record store day releases. A recording of an interview Sun Ra gave in 1990 with Jez Nelson from Jazz FM. Once they had finished the interview Nelson asked if he would like to play something for them, he happily embraced the opportunity, said “Hello Mr Schimmel” and began to improvise. First time this has been released, collectors gem.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra
Thunder Of The Gods

Previously utterly unheard, here is an album of Sun Ra material recorded around about fifty years ago (hard to say with precision due to the uncertain nature of Sun Ra scholarship). Three fairly wild cuts, two in mono and one in stereo, all displaying the ever-evolving wonder of Sun Ra’s universe.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra & His Arkestra
Nuclear War

Although he returned to his native Saturn many years ago, Sun Ra’s music has an almost limitless capacity for taking listeners to the outer spaceways. Nuclear War is an essential Ra cut, with fear and thrills in equal measure. This fetching red vinyl 10” release adds two rare and exciting Arkestra recordings. On Modern Harmonic.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra and His Solar Arkestra
I Roam The Cosmos

A gorgeous live album from Sun Ra, everyone’s very favourite purveyor of cosmic space jazz. I Roam The Cosmos finds Ra and his Solar Arkestra in a fairly smooth and relaxed mode, with a spoken-word piece delivered by June Tyson at the centre of affairs. Yet another side of the Sun Ra universe. 180g vinyl release by Art Yard.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra | Merzbow
Strange City

Avant-garde music lovers from all over the spectrum will raise their eyebrows at this record: Merzbow and Sun Ra are two of the most prolific sound-weirdos out there, but this is the first time their paths have crossed. Of course, Sun Ra returned to Saturn decades ago, but Masami Akita got his hands on some unheard Ra recordings and fed them through his Merz-blender. The results make for a Strange City indeed.

Sun Ra and his Interplanetary Vocal Arkestra
The Space Age Is Here To Stay

Vocals were not usually at the core of Sun Ra‘s sound, but the man / alien had such a broad range of practice that there is still plenty of amazing vocal performances about. The Space Age Is Here To Stay compiles a whole double LP’s worth of Interplanetary Vocal Orchestra tunes that travel the spaceways and holler ecstatically. Blue and yellow vinyl on Modern Harmonic.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra & His Arkestra
Rocket Number Nine

Although he returned to his native Saturn many years ago, Sun Ra’s music has an almost limitless capacity for fascinating and enrapturing listeners. Classic Ra space-jam Rocket Number Nine is presented here in an early version (1960), plus two rare renditions of other tunes. The pace is frantic and joyful throughout: take off for the planet Venus today! 10” on Modern Harmonic.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra & His Myth-Science Arkestra
Lady With The Golden Stockings

Although he returned to his native Saturn many years ago, Sun Ra’s music has an almost limitless capacity for taking listeners to the outer spaceways. Lady With The Golden Stockings is an especially groovy piece of Sun Ra sound, played by his Myth-Science Arkestra. This gold vinyl 10” release also includes two more rare and exciting recordings. On Modern Harmonic.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra
Space Is The Place

Space Is The Place, the afro-futurist film Sun Ra made is a remarkable watch, mixing plenty of familiar film tropes with the sheer weird wonder of Sun Ra. This soundtrack to the film is a remarkable mixture of chants, harsh synth and free-blasting Arkestra jazz. Widely regarded as a masterpiece, and a perfect entry point into the world of this singular artist.

Sun Ra Arkestra
3rd September 1988 Chicago

This is one of those does-what-it-says-on-the-tin deals, but anyway: Sun Ra performs live! In 1988! Let's zone in on this a bit, though: this appearance documents Sun Ra at the Chicago Free Jazz Festival, backed by his classic Solar Arkestra and performing some of his most impressionist and avant-garde works. 
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra Arkestra
Live in Nickelsdorf 1984

The leftfield jazz genius Sun Ra took his Arkestra to Nickelsdorf in Austria back in 1984, offering up three whole hours of his dizzying improvisations and arrangements, with the usual extensive and overwhelming roster of players: Marshall Allen is of course present on alto, but there are also a series of percussionists and bongo players. There were dancers, too, but I don't think you can hear them.
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra And His Arkestra
Lost Arkestra Vol.2


  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra & His Ethnic Structural Cosmo Arkestra
Live at Red Creek, Rochester, NY


  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra
  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Sun Ra & His Solar Arkestra
On Jupiter


  • Artist(s):
  • Sun Ra and his Arkestra