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Sun Ra Arkestra

Audio Series Volume 1: Live at Myron's Ballroom

Sun Ra Arkestra: Audio Series Volume 1:  Live at Myron's Ballroom (Transparency)

A 1981 performance at Los Angeles' Myron's Ballroom with a 15 piece Arkestra performing longer Sun Ra works including "Space is The Place", "The Shadow World", "We Travel the Spaceways", with Gilmore, Marsall, Tyson, Ray, Williams, Harris, &c.

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product information:

184 minutes with text by Le Sony'r Ra

Label: Transparency
Catalog ID: 0236
Squidco Product Code: 6316

Format: 3 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2006
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Tray Box
Recorded live by Brad Wussow and Mr. Foon at Myron's Ballroom, Los Angeles, CA on 4/2/81


Eloe Omoe-Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Clarinet [Contra-alto], Percussion

Marshall Allen-Alto Saxophone, Flute, Oboe, Kora, Percussion, Electronic Wind Instrument [Evi]

Kenny Williams-Baritone Saxophone

Danny Ray Thompson-Baritone Saxophone, Flute, Electronic Wind Instrument [Evi], Percussion

Richard "Radu" Williams-Bass


Samarai Celestial-Drums

Craig Haynes-Drums, Percussion [Space Drum]

Vincent Chancey-French Horn

Sun Ra-Piano, Organ, Vocals, Written-By

John Gilmore-Tenor Saxophone, Electronic Wind Instrument [Evi], Clarinet, Timbales, Vocals

Craig Harris-Trombone

Michael Ray-Trumpet, Vocals

Damon Choice-Vibraphone

June Tyson-Vocals

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track listing:

CD 1

1. Mayron's Ballroom (4/2/81) 52:43

2. Mayron's Ballroom (4/2/81) 22:18

CD 2

1. Fate In A Pleasant Mood 7:23

2. The Shadow World / Astro Black 10:44

3. Moonship Journey / Outerspaceways Incorporated 3:07

4. Space Is The Place / We Travel The Spaceways 7:50

5. We Travel The Spaceways (Continued) / Hit That Jive, Jack / I'll Wait For You 5:07

6. Watusi 22:49

7. Enlightenment / Strange Mathematics, Rhythmic Equations 9:52
CD 3

1. They'll Come Back 5:34

2. Untitled Improvisation 3:35

3. Can You Take It? / Blue Lou 6:09

4. Lights On A Satellite 6:22

5. Lady Bird / Half Nelson 6:06

6. Springtime Again 6:06

7. Discipline 27-II / Someday Soon / You're In The Space Age Now 5:26
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Sun Ra

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descriptions, reviews, &c.

Reisue of the 2006 Transparency release, an audience recording of a 1981 concert in Los Angeles with a superb 15 piece band. The entire release presents 1984 minutes of music on 3 CDs, with classic cosmic pieces from Sun Ra himsef. The recordings are clear and sharp, definitely not audiophile, but not muffled or indistinct, giving the listener a good opportunity to hear a very full concert from a great period of The Arkestra.

184 minutes with text by Le Sony'r Ra

Artist Biographies:

"Marshall Belford Allen (born May 25, 1924) is an American free jazz and avant-garde jazz alto saxophone player. He also performs on flute, oboe, piccolo, and EVI (an electronic valve instrument made by Steiner, Crumar company).

Allen is best known for his work with eccentric keyboardist/bandleader Sun Ra, having recorded and performed mostly in this context since the late 1950s, and having led Sun Ra's Arkestra since 1993. Critic Jason Ankeny describes Marshall as "one of the most distinctive and original saxophonists of the postwar era."

Marshall Allen was born in Louisville, Kentucky.

During the Second World War he enlisted in the 92nd Infantry Division and was stationed in France. Allen studied alto saxophone in Paris and played in Europe with Art Simmons and James Moody.

He is best known for his mastery of pyrotechnic effects on the alto - he has said that he "wanted to play on a broader sound basis rather than on chords" (1971 interview with Tam Fiofori cited in). The opportunity came through his long association with Sun Ra, with whom he performed almost exclusively from 1958 to Ra's death in 1993, although he did record outside the Arkestra, notably with Paul Bley's group in 1964 and with Olatunji's group during the mid-1960s. Critic Scott Yanow has described Allen's playing as "Johnny Hodges from another dimension".

Since the departure of Sun Ra and John Gilmore, Allen has led the Arkestra, and has recorded two albums as their bandleader. In May 2004, Allen celebrated his 80th birthday on stage with the Arkestra, as part of their performance at the Ninth Vision Festival in New York City. Allen gave another performance on his birthday in 2008 at Sullivan Hall in New York City.

Allen often appears in NYC-area collaborations with bassist Henry Grimes and has also participated in the "Outerzone Orchestra" together with Francisco Mora Catlett, Carl Craig and others in an appreciation of Sun Ra's music."

-Wikipedia (

"John Gilmore (September 28, 1931 – August 19, 1995) was an avant-garde jazz saxophonist known for his tenure with keyboardist/bandleader Sun Ra from the 1950s to the 1990s.

Gilmore grew up in Chicago and played clarinet from the age of 14. 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. This was puzzling to some, who noted Gilmore's talent, and thought he could be a major star like John Coltrane or Sonny Rollins. Despite being five years older than Gilmore, Coltrane was impressed with his playing, and took informal lessons from Gilmore in the late 1950s. Coltrane's epochal, proto–free jazz "Chasin' the Trane" was inspired partly by Gilmore's sound.

In 1957 he co-led with Clifford Jordan a Blue Note date that is regarded as a hard bop classic: Blowing In from Chicago. Horace Silver, Curly Russell, and Art Blakey provided the rhythm section. In the mid-1960s Gilmore toured with the Jazz Messengers and he participated in recording sessions with Paul Bley, Andrew Hill (Andrew! and Compulsion), Pete La Roca (Turkish Women at the Bath), McCoy Tyner (Today and Tomorrow) and a handful of others. In 1970 he co-led a recording with Jamaican trumpeter Dizzy Reece. His main focus throughout, however, remained with the Sun Ra Arkestra.

Gilmore's devotion to Sun Ra was due, in part, to the latter's use of harmony, which Gilmore considered both unique and a logical extension of bebop. Gilmore had stated that Sun Ra was "more stretched out than Monk" and that "I'm not gonna run across anybody who's moving as fast as Sun Ra ... So I just stay where I am."

Gilmore occasionally doubled on drums and also played bass clarinet until Sun Ra hired Robert Cummings as a specialist on the latter instrument in the mid-1950s. However, tenor sax was his main instrument and Gilmore himself made a huge contribution to Sun Ra's recordings and was the Arkestra's leading sideman, being given solos on almost every track on which he appeared. In the Rough Guide to Jazz, Brian Priestley says:

Gilmore is known for two rather different styles of tenor playing. On performances of a straight ahead post-bop character (which include many of those with Sun Ra), he runs the changes with a fluency and tone halfway between Johnny Griffin and Wardell Gray, and with a rhythmic and motivic approach which he claims influenced Coltrane. On more abstract material, he is capable of long passages based exclusively on high-register squeals. Especially when heard live, Gilmore was one of the few musicians who carried sufficient conviction to encompass both approaches.

Many fans of jazz saxophone consider him to be among the greatest ever, his fame shrouded in the relative anonymity of being a member of Sun Ra's Arkestra. His "straight ahead post-bop" talents are exemplified in his solo on the Arkestra's rendition of "Blue Lou," as seen on Mystery, Mr. Ra.

After Sun Ra's 1993 death, Gilmore led Ra's Arkestra for a few years before his own death from emphysema. Marshall Allen then took over the Arkestra leadership."

-Wikipedia (

"June Tyson (born February 5, 1936, Albemarle, North Carolina - d. November 24, 1992, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was a singer and dancer who achieved prominence performing with keyboardist and bandleader Sun Ra.

When she joined Sun Ra's Arkestra around 1968, she became the first female member of his band. (Sun Ra had previously recorded with a few female vocalists, but they were not members of his band.) She became a close and trusted friend of Ra, and helped him with costume design. Tyson continued to perform and record with Ra up to her death.

Tyson was diagnosed with cancer and grew increasingly ill. When she was unable to sing because of her illness, she played the violin."

-Wikipedia (

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