Why so many covers in Ra's later years?

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#1 Mon, 1995-01-23 15:09
Jeff Eldredge
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Why so many covers in Ra's later years?

On Fri, 20 Jan 1995, P.J.Fawcett wrote:

to terms with as it was happening! My main concern teaching jazz history and turning people on to Ra, is that the late stuff, and a few widely distributed weaker albums from earlier, are what is mostly available (except for the Evidence reissues of substantial earlier material).

This is somewhat self-contradictory, given that the Evidence material now comprises the MAJORITY of that which is available on CD in the way of "earlier" material. Also, what exactly are the "weaker albums from earlier" that you imply here? I can't think of many that are so weak. Perhaps the problem is in defining "early."

I agree that what Sun Ra is available certainly does not and cannot completely represent an expansive career of touring and numerous unavailable Saturn (and other) releases.

However, one must consider what we have now and how much better off we are than, say, 6 years ago:

a. a relatively good representation of 50's and 60's Sun Ra, thanks to the folks at Evidence

b. a strong document of Ra's last years of output

c. a sprinkling of 70's stuff