I remember hearing some of Ra's music on the radio in 1979. I can't remember the tune, but I had noticed his name in various readers and critics polls in Downbeat and other publications, the name sounded odd. My father had heard of him, told me Symphony Sid used to play some of his music on WEVD, probably in the late fifties. From what I gather it was some of Ra's conventional sounds from the Chicago Era. I remember taking out the Space Is The Place album from the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center. It was like nothing I had heard before. I think the first time I saw Sunny was in 1983 at Sweet Basil in NYC. I was a little dissapointed at the time because it was fairly conventional, swing oriented stuff. I guess I was getting into the more chaotic sounds at the time. The only time I heard him play a far out set was at the Knitting Factory in 1988. I think the hidden fires show was one of them. I remember Art Jenkins singing into something. I really enjoyed that one. I was fortunate to have produced a show of his as a college student in Binghamton, NY in December 1987. I had an opportunity to introduce the band. They chimed in right after the introduction. I've taken a break from all the listening though. I think I have over 100 Sun Ra items whether it be albums, tapes, cd's, etc. Sometimes, one reaches critical mass. Good luck in the discovery though and to all that take the journey.
Ronald S. Russ Brooklyn Public Library email@example.com
On Tue, 11 Oct 1994, Patrick Armstrong wrote:
Greetings Saturnites! I just joined the list and wanted to say hi. I wasn't exposed to Sun Ra until I had the fortunate luck to sit in the front row in Oakland when Sun Ra and the Arkestra performed there in 1992, I believe. Although Sun Ra was in a wheel- chair at the time, the power of the music ant the interaction between band members was happening. I even rubbed elbows with Pharoah Sanders who was in attendance. I'll never forget the experience of that show. Since then I have been fervently collecting and soaking up Ra's music and words. If only I had been exposed to his music a little earlier, but better late then never.Anybody care to share some impressions they had the first time they saw Sun Ra live?