The Squid's Ear Magazine

Boykins, Ronnie

The Will Come, Is Now [VINYL]

Boykins, Ronnie: The Will Come, Is Now [VINYL] (ESP-Disk)

Best known for his work with Sun Ra, Bassist Ronnie Boykin took 10 years to compose and arrange this, his only solo album, originally issued in 1974 and performed in a septet with a strong front line of wind and brass players and fueled by two drummer/percussionists, Boykin's natural bass sound in the foreground over a wealth of moods and textures.

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product information:

UPC: 825481302616

Label: ESP-Disk
Catalog ID: ESPDISK 3026LP
Squidco Product Code: 29541

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: LP
Recorded in February, 1975, by Marzette Watts. Originally issued in 1975 on the ESP Disk label as catalog code ESP 3026.


Ronnie Boykins-bass, sousaphone, bells, shaker

Joe Ferguson-flute, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, shaker

Art Lewis-percussion, drums, bells, shaker

Jimmy Vass-flute, alto sax, soprano saxophone, bells, shaker

Monty Waters-alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, bells, shaker

George Avaloz-conga, bells, shaker

Daoud Haroom-trombone, bells, shaker

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Legendary Sun Ra bassist (Ronnie Boykins 1935-1980) stepped out on his own for his first and only release as a leader on The Will Come, Is Now. He was invited by ESP in 1964 to record his own album, and in February 1974, he told ESP that he was finally ready, and the session took place later that month.

This recording not only features Boykins's solid abilities as a bassist, including his marvelous arco work, but also his talents as a composer and arranger. In addition, one is treated to an all-natural bass sound, a rare sound during this particular era of jazz history.

In septet format, Boykins's six originals create a variety of moods and textures that not only evoke the music of Sun Ra but also reflect Boykins's own sensibilities as an artist. Original pressings, made just before ESP-Disk' went on hiatus for forty years and thus less common that other ESP LPs, often go for upwards of $150. "-ESP-Disk

Artist Biographies

"Ronnie Boykins (December 17, 1935 - April 20, 1980) was a jazz bassist and is best known for his work with pianist/bandleader Sun Ra, although he had played with such disparate musicians as Muddy Waters, Johnny Griffin, and Jimmy Witherspoon prior to joining Sun Ra's Arkestra.

He joined the Arkestra during the Chicago period, travelled with them to Canada and then to New York City. Boykins has been described as "the pivot around which much of Sun Ra's music revolved for 8 years".

This is especially pronounced on the key recordings from 1965 (The Magic City, The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Volume One and The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Volume Two) where the intertwining lines of Boykins' bass and Ra's electronic keyboards provide the cohesion. He was a regular member of Sun Ra's band from 1958 until 1966, and occasionally thereafter up to 1974.

Like his fellow Sun Ra bandmates, John Gilmore and Pat Patrick, Boykins attended Chicago's DuSable High School and studied under its famed music teacher "Captain" Walter Dyett. He also studied with Ernie Shepard, who would later work with Duke Ellington.

Before joining Ra, Boykins had joined with a trombonist friend to open a private club-The House of Culture-with the intent of promoting black culture.

Boykins' arco solo on Sun Ra's "Rocket No. 9 Take Off for Planet Venus" from 1960 may be the first recorded example of the bass being played in a horn-like manner within a relatively free context, predating similar work by Alan Silva and David Izenzon. Boykins worked with both free and straight-ahead musicians.

In 1962, he recorded with the hard bop tenor saxophonist Bill Barron and, the next year, with pianist Elmo Hope. Boykins worked with tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp's New York Contemporary Five in 1964. Boykins left Ra in 1966, ostensibly to pursue more lucrative opportunities; Ra had a difficult time finding a replacement, at times settling for playing his own bass lines on keyboard.

In the late '60s, he formed his own group, the Free Jazz Society, which included the pianist John Hicks.

In the '70s, Boykins played with the Melodic Art-tet, a cooperative free jazz ensemble that also included drummer Roger Blank, saxophonist Charles Brackeen, and trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah.

In 1975, the bassist led a session for ESP Disk that produced his sole LP as a leader, The Will Come, Is Now.

In 1979 he played with Steve Lacy and Dennis Charles on New York Capers and Quirks. In the course of his career, Boykins also worked with Mary Lou Williams, Marion Brown, Sarah Vaughan, and Hajj Daoud Haroon, among others.

He died of a heart attack in 1980 at the age of 44."

-Wikipedia (

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"Joe Ferguson is an American woodwind player, performing on saxophone, clarinet, & flute. He performed with and released albums with Fraser & deBolt, Sam Rivers, Ronnie Boykins, Lou Donaldson, George McCrae, Gloria Gaynor, The Andrea True Connection, and Bionic Boogie."

-Discogs (

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"Art Lewis is an American jazz drummer. Born in New Orleans, he began his career in San Francisco, where he studied under Philly Joe Jones. He is known for the groups Andrew Hill Trio, The Cosmosamatics, The Jazz Composer's Orchestra."

-Discogs (

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"Alto saxophonist and flutist Jimmy Vass emerged as one of the premier jazz sidemen of the 1970s, lending his sinuous tone and dynamic style to sessions headlined by Andrew Hill, Charles Earland, and Muhal Richard Abrams. Born March 31, 1937, in Philadelphia, Vass acquired his first saxophone at age 18. After honing his chops on the local club scene, he relocated to New York City in 1963, working a series of day jobs while moonlighting as a musician. Vass first appeared on record in 1968 via Sunny Murray's Hard Cores. With 1971's Soul Story, he began an extended collaboration with the great soul-jazz organist Earland, although his most notable partnership paired him with avant-jazz pianist Hill, beginning with 1975's Divine Revelation. Vass was an extraordinarily nimble and flexible player, comfortable in a host of musical settings. He even played on soul singer Roberta Flack's 1975 LP Feel Like Makin' Love. Sadly he never led a recording date of his own, but in the autumn of his career led his own New York-based group and also worked as a music instructor. Vass died September 21, 2006, at the age of 69."-Jason Ankeny, All Music

-All Music (

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"Monty Waters (April 14, 1938 in Modesto, California - December 23, 2008 in Munich, Germany) was an American jazz saxophonist, flautist and singer. Waters received his first musical training from his aunt and first played in the church. After his education in college, he was a member of a Rhythm & Blues band. In the late 1950s he worked with musicians like BB King, Lightnin' Hopkins, Little Richard and James Brown on tour. In San Francisco he played with King Pleasure and initiated in the early 1960s, a "Late Night Session" at the club Bop City. There he came into contact with musicians such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Red Garland and Dexter Gordon, who visited this club after their concerts. In addition, he and Pharoah Sanders, Dewey Redman and Donald Garrett formed a big band. In 1969 he moved to New York City and went with Jon Hendricks on a concert tour. During the 1970s he participated in the "Loft Jazz" scene. Like many other jazz musicians, he moved in the 1980s to Paris, where he worked with Chet Baker, Pharoah Sanders and Johnny Griffin. Following Mal Waldron and Marty Cook, he came to Munich, Germany and continued to work with musicians such as Embryo, Götz Tangerding, Hannes Beckmann, Titus Waldenfels, Suchredin Chronov or Joe Malinga."

-Wikipedia (

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"Drummer and vocalist George Avaloz grew up in St. Paul and was busy on the jazz scene by his teens, playing regularly with Kiko Rangell, Gary Berg, and Dave Karr. Avaloz soon moved to Chicago, where he joined Billy Eckstine's band, a job he would hold for 10 years. After leaving Eckstine's band, Avaloz moved to New York and played regularly in the lofts and clubs in the area. He eventually returned to the Twin Cities, playing a limited schedule at such venues as the Dakota and Artists Quarter."

-Twin Cities Jazz Festival (

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"Daoud A. Haroon was born in 1934 in pre-World War II Boston, Massachusetts as John Mancebo Lewis and in his own words spent a lifetime: "Trying to make sense out of nonsense."

Mr Haroon had a lifelong interest in Music, History and Religion. Since 1955 Mr. Haroon performed and recorded as a Jazz Trombonist and African and Middle Eastern percussionist. He had strong cultural links with both traditional world music and The Avante Garde. He is listed in the International Who's Who in Music & Music Directory (8th Edition) Cambridge, England.

His primary trombone instructor was Charles (Chuck) Connors, who played bass Trombone with Duke Ellington, and was in the famous Dizzy Gillespie Big Band that was under the direction of Quincy Jones. He studied music theory and ensemble playing with Jaki Byard, Rollins Griffeth, Paul Neves, Roland Alexander and Ken Makanda McIntyre, and many more of the Boston based musicians too numerous to list.

He performed and recorded primarily with the 'Jazz Avante Garde' of the Sixties and the Seventies, the likes of Ken Makanda McIntyre, Ronnie Boykins, Earl Cross, Sam Rivers, Roland Alexander, Jaki Byard, Ahmed Abdul-Malik, Bilal Abdurahman, Paul Neves, Allan Dawson, Phil Lasley, The Manifestation, Hakim jami, Phil Lasley, Art Lewis, Charles Eubanks, Chiles and Pettiford, George Avaloz, and Sam Woodyard, to name a few. However he also had the good fortune to have played in 'House Bands' that backed up folks like Jimmy Rushing and Billie Holiday.BeFunky_hajji.jpg

Mr Haroon has a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Wesleyan University, Middletown Connecticut where he was a former Artist In Residence in African American Music, (1973-1974). He also taught music at Wesleyan and other Colleges and universities over the years. He travelled extensively doing musicological and theological research in Morocco, South Africa, Senegal, The Gambia, U.K., the Caribbean, Canada, Pakistan, Iran, Arabia, and traversed the USA from North to South and East to West.

Mr. Haroon obtained a Masters Degree in History from Texas Southern University Houston, Texas with a concentration in: Techniques of Oral History and Colonial American History. He taught American History in the Houston Community College System in the 1980's and 1990's, including his alma mater Texas Southern.

Mr Haroon was the founder of the Avicenna Library of The Islamic Education Center in Houston Texas and served as it's Librarian for a decade during the 1990's - during which time he instituted 'The Islamic Education Series' and Outreach programs that greatly impacted the prison systems nationwide.

After retiring from teaching his interest in the intersections of music, social justice and religion continued as did his travels, visiting the Middle East, and Africa. He also continued to perform and participate in various ensembles which included African/African American Dance - Sufi 'spiritual' music. His love for writing continued, writing numerous papers and short stories concerned with music, history and religion. A collection of his lifetimes writing is being gathered as will soon be published. In 2014 he was made a fellow of the United Artists of America which took him to Africa again to pursue his studies in Ethnomusicology.

Sadly in 2017 Mr Haroon was diagnosed with an incurable cancer which led to his passing on the 24th of February 2018. He passed on to the next realm in the care and company of his kind and loving family. May God bless his Soul and may he eternally rest in peace. He is survived by his wife Mujibah, his four children: Yusef, Musa, Idris and Nurah and 9 grandchildren."

-Daoud Haroom Website (

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Track Listing:


1. The Will Come, Is Now 12:33

2. Starlight At The Wonder Inn 7:33

3. Demon's Dance 3:21


1. Dawn Is Evening, Afternoon 6:19

2. Tipping On Heels 4:50

3. The Third I 12:26

Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Sun Ra
Septet recordings
Jazz Reissues

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