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Sun Ra: Cosmos (Inner City)

A grooving cosmic album issued in 1976 on the French Cobra label, Sun Ra leads his large ensemble on a Rocksichord keyboard, alongside Arkestra members Marshall Allen, Danny Davis and John Gilmore on sax, Craig Harris on trombone, Ahmed Abdulla on trumpet, Vince Chancey on French Horn, Jac Jackson, Eloe Omoe, and Danny Ray Thompson on winds, Larry Bright on drums, and Tony Bunn on bass.
 

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product information:


UPC: 077712710206

Label: Inner City
Catalog ID: IC1020
Squidco Product Code: 18867

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2008
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded in August, 1976. Originally released in 1976 on LP on the Cobra label as Cobra – COB 37001, Cobra – COB 37.001.


Personnel:

Sun Ra-keyboards

John Gilmore-tenor saxophone

Marshall Allen- alto saxophone, flute

Danny Davis-alto saxophone, flute

Danny Thompson-baritone saxophone, flute

Eloe Omoe-bass clarinet, flute

Jac Jacson-bassoon, flute

Ahmed Abdullah-trumpet

Vincent Chancey-French horn

Craig Harris-trombone

R. Anthony Bunn-electric bass

Larry Bright-drums

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track listing:


1. The Mystery Of Two 5:47

2. Interstellar Low-Ways 4:45

3. Neo Project #2 5:15

4. Cosmos 2:50

5. Moonship Journey 6:30

6. Journey Among Stars 5:50

7. Jazz From An Unknown Planet 8:10

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Sun Ra
Jazz Reissues
New in Improvised Music

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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"A hard-to-find, alternately chaotic and tightly organized mid-'70s session that was issued on the Cobra, and then Inner City labels. Sun Ra provided some stunning moments on the Rocksichord, while leading The Arkestra through stomping full-band cuts of atmospheric or alternately hard bop compositions, peeling off various saxophonists for skittering, screaming, at times spacey dialogues."-Ron Wynn, All Music


Artist Biographies:

"Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blount, legal name Le Sony'r Ra; May 22, 1914 - May 30, 1993) was an American jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, poet and philosopher known for his experimental music, "cosmic philosophy", prolific output, and theatrical performances. He was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1979. For much of his career, Ra led "The Arkestra", an ensemble with an ever-changing name and flexible line-up.

Born and raised in Alabama, Blount would eventually become involved in the 1940s Chicago jazz scene. He soon abandoned his birth name, taking the name Sun Ra (after Ra, the Egyptian God of the Sun) and developing a complex persona and mythology that would make him a pioneer of Afrofuturism: he claimed he was an alien from Saturn on a mission to preach peace, and throughout his life he consistently denied any ties to his prior identity. His widely eclectic and exploratory music would eventually touch on virtually the entire history of jazz, ranging from swing music and bebop to free jazz and fusion, and his compositions ranged from keyboard solos to big bands of over 30 musicians. From the mid-1950s until his death, Ra led the musical collective The Arkestra (which featured artists such as Marshall Allen, John Gilmore, June Tyson throughout its various iterations). Its performances often included dancers and musicians dressed in elaborate, futuristic costumes inspired by ancient Egyptian attire and the space age.

Though his mainstream success was limited, Sun Ra was a prolific recording artist and frequent live performer, and remained both influential and controversial throughout his life for his music and persona. He is now widely considered an innovator; among his distinctions are his pioneering work in free improvisation and modal jazz and his early use of electronic keyboards. Over the course of his career, he recorded dozens of singles and over one hundred full-length albums, comprising well over 1000 songs, and making him one of the most prolific recording artists of the 20th century. Following Sun Ra's death in 1993, the Arkestra continues to perform."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Ra)
10/12/2018

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"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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gilmore_(musician))
10/12/2018

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"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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Allen)
10/12/2018

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"Danny Davis was mainly an alto saxophone player and long-time member of the Sun Ra Arkestra, spanning a period from the early '60s to the late '80s. He is also heard on albums on the Japanese Fool label, and with Takehisa Kosugi & Peter Kowald on the FMP label."

-Discogs, Squidco 10/12/2018

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"Baritone saxophonist Danny Thompson, AKA Danny Ray Thompson, was a member of Black Heat, and a regular performed with Sun Ra."

-Squidco 10/12/2018

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"Eloe Omoe, real name Leroy Taylor, was a Reed player (clarinet, bassoon, oboe) with the Sun Ra Arkestra from 1970 to 1989. Born in 1949, died in 1989."

-Discogs.com (https://www.discogs.com/artist/252022-Eloe-Omoe)
10/12/2018

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"Jac Jacson 1932-1997: Bassoon, Ancient Egyptian Infinity Drum, Flute

"Jac" Jacson entered this earthly plane under the sign of cancer on July 15, 1932 in Georgetown, District of Columbia. He was born the second child of James Edward Jackson and Alethia Greene Jackson. At the age of 11 he moved with his family to New Haven, Connecticut.

While still in his formative years, Jac distinguished himself by demonstrating his formidable artistic abilities. His musical genius was first glimpsed when he began his career as a self taught jazz flutist in his mid-teens. Initially, he played with local jazz bands in and around New Haven. In the early 1960's, anxious to expand his musical horizions, he left for the Big Apple.

In the early to mid sixties Jac lived with his young family on the Lower East side of Manhattan. He supplemented his musical earning by painting and making jewelry in his shop. It was during this period about 1964, that he met up with and joined Sun Ra.

With that cosmic collision of spirits a new energy was created. Its effects have been felt around the world. A musical vibration that will forever grow and change, ebb and flow, pulse and beat wildly in the primordial, mercurial universe that is the legacy of Sun Ra and Jac his disciple in Space **** the Place."

-Archive.IS (https://archive.li/raRMG#selection-367.0-401.565)
10/12/2018

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"Ahmed Abdullah (born Leroy Bland; May 10, 1947) is a jazz trumpeter who was a prominent member of Sun Ra's band.

Leroy Bland began performing at age 13 in his native New York City. By the 1970s he was performing in New York's loft scene, and joined the Sun Ra Arkestra in 1976, working there on and off until 1993, when Sun Ra died. During that time Abdullah participated in more than 25 recordings and traveled extensively with Sun Ra. He has performed with Chico Freeman, Charles Brackeen, Steve Reid, John Hicks and Marion Brown, among others. He led his own "Solomonic Quintet" and recorded for Silkheart and Cadence Jazz."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmed_Abdullah)
10/12/2018

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"Vincent Chancey - French Horn and Composer

Over the past 25 years I have built a solid reputation as an accomplished and totally dedicated french horn player, performing in a wide variety of musical contexts, and as an increasingly active composer. My first instrument as a member of the junior high school band was the cornet and later the trumpet and fluglehorn. But after hearing the french horn during rehearsals I felt a strong affinity for that instrument and was happily able to make the change. Simultaniously with my band experience in high school, I was first active in Giles Yellow Jackets and later the St. Andrews Hornets and the DesPlaines Vanguard competitive drum & bugle corps. Through high school and college, I lived a kind of musical schizophrenia, studying and playing classical music, but listening to and loving jazz. Continuing in that direction for some time, I finally decided that I needed some instruction on how to approach jazz on this instrument.

Upon graduation from the Southern Illinois University School of Music, I moved to New York to seek out and study with the long-time pioneering jazz french hornist Julius Watkins. I was able to win a N.E.A. grant to begin this study program. After several years of instruction and hard practice, I first came to prominence as a regular member of the Sun Ra Arkestra from 1976 to 1978. After that I worked sporadically for Sun Ra, making a number of recordings with the ensemble, and then worked for six years with the Carla Bley Band. In 1984, I joined Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy and have been featured on all of the group's nine recordings. For many years, I have also been part of the David Murray Big Band in which I am featured on five CD's. I have been able to employ my talent playing with Chick Corea, Cassandra Wilson, Shirley Horn, Randy Weston, The Gil Evans Orchestra and The Mingus Orchestra. In the Contemporary Classical idiom , I have worked with Guus Janssen on varied projects in The Netherlands. I have also performed with popular artists such as Ashford and Simpson, Melba Moore, Peggy Lee, Maxwell, Aretha Franklin, Freddy Jackson, The Winans, Elvis Costello, Brandy, Charlie Haden Liberation Orchestra, Dave Douglas, singer Diana Krall and many more. In 2000 I had the honor of playing a performance for Pope John Paul II's 80th birthday concert.

I have recorded as a sideman with various artist on more than 150 albums, CD's and soundtracks. Eventually I came to the point that many musicians reach when they feel the need for more personal creative expression. I began writing music that could best express myself and my instrument. I felt that no one was writing for the french horn the way I knew it could be played. Several bands were put together over many years, which lead to my first CD. This recording entitled "Welcome Mr. Chancey" was released in 1993 on In + Out Records. A quartet was featured on this album using electric guitar, bass and drums. I enjoyed working with this group, but felt that I wanted to do something closer to the music that I had always listened to as a developing jazz musician, classic jazz. I started first by composing music that I thought worked with the way I liked to play my instrument. Soon after I was asked to do a CD of music commemorating my jazz horn teacher, Julius Watkins and his group, The Jazz Modes. In 1996 I recorded my second CD "Vincent Chancey and Next Mode" on DIW records. This one featured a Quintet with tenor saxophone, piano, bass, and drums.

The french horn is my natural voice. Throughout my career I have been devoted to the idea of achieving wider recognition for the horn as a jazz instrument and I have constantly sought to increase the capability of the instrument and overcome the inherent problems of adapting it to the vocabulary of jazz."

-Vincent Chancey Website (http://www.vincentchancey.com/biography.htm)
10/12/2018

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"Craig S. Harris (born September 10, 1953) is a jazz trombonist and composer who has been a major figure in the jazz avant-garde movement since his stint with Sun Ra in 1976. Subsequently, Harris has worked with such notable jazz artists as Abdullah Ibrahim, David Murray, Lester Bowie, Cecil Taylor, Sam Rivers, Muhal Richard Abrams and Charlie Haden. Harris has also recorded since 1983 as leader for labels like India Navigation, Soul Note and JMT. For the latter he recorded with two different groups: the Tailgaters Tails was a quintet with clarinetist Don Byron, trumpeter Edward E. J. Allen, Anthony Cox on bass and Pheeroan akLaff on drums. His large ensemble project Cold Sweat was a tribute to the music of James Brown.

Harris was born in Hempstead, New York. He is a graduate of the music program of State University of New York College at Old Westbury, and was profoundly influenced by its founder and director Makanda Ken McIntyre. Harris's move to New York City in 1978 quickly established him in the forefront of young trombonists, including Ray Anderson, George Lewis and Joseph Bowie.[1]

He first played alongside another of his teachers at SUNY, baritone saxophonist Pat Patrick, in Sun Ra's Arkestra for two years. Harris than embarked on a world tour with South African pianist/composer Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) in 1981. While on tour in Australia Harris discovered the Indigenous Australian wind instrument, the didgeridoo, which he added to the collection of instruments he plays."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Harris)
10/12/2018

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"Robert Anthony Bunn, also known as Tony Bunn, (born November 18, 1957) is an American bassist, composer, producer, and writer.

Tony Bunn was born into a musical family and began studying music in grade school. By the age of seventeen he was proficient on woodwind and brass instruments; earning scholarships to Peabody Institute Preparatory Summer Program(s), as well as inclusion in local orchestras for gifted students. He began the study of the bass guitar in high school.

By the age of twenty-two he had toured Europe and played and recorded with several renowned groups, including Sun Ra, Harold Ivory Williams, Michal Urbaniak, Urszula Dudziak, Jean Carne, Chuck Brown, and the legendary Chuck Berry. In 1977, he conceived and developed the first modern 5-string bass guitar with luthier Paul Reed Smith (Most other sources attribute the first modern 5-string bass to an instrument built in 1976 by Alembic Inc for bassist Jimmy Johnson). Graduating from university in his late twenties, Bunn earned bachelor's degrees in mathematics and computer science. Working with computers and scientific programming, he went on to receive an award from NASA for flight dynamics work on the Terra satellite system. Later, aged in his fifties, Bunn returned to music full-time and began producing projects as a bandleader and solo artist. In 2009, he released the "Small World" recording (also featuring Dennis Chambers, Arshak Sirunyan, etc.), receiving international acclaim."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Bunn)
10/12/2018

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"His first great interest in drumming developed in the early 70s after seeing Bill Cobham. Larry began studying under master drummer Purnell Rice. He remembers, "Those times were hard. I was the oldest student in the class. I remember studying my paradiddles & patterns and these 14-15 year old kids would sit down and smoke me." Fortunately, Larry wasn't the type to give up easily.

After two and a half years of study with Purnell Rice, Larry enrolled at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and it was there that he studied with Chuck Memphis. He learned advanced rhythms & techniques, which cultivated his individual style. Two and a half years later, he began his professional career. His first gig was with Michael Urbaniak in New York City. After laying down a few tracks for the album, word spread about this sensational new drummer.

Larry Bright has played with the likes of Sun Ra, Ahmad Jamal, Buddy Guy, Scott Ambush, Frank Gambale, Paquito d'Rivera, John Scofield, John Lee Hooker, Gary Grainger, Victor Wooten, Tom Coster, Ben E. King, Big Mama Thornton, and Carl Filipiak."

-Popsike, Credited to Larry Bright website (unfound) (https://www.popsike.com/LARRY-BRIGHT-spiritual-jazz-SOLAR-VISIONS-LP-CROSSWIND-Sun-Ra-drummer-nm-SUPERB/151075381231.html)
10/12/2018

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