Search - Sun Ra :: Singles

Sun Ra
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (25) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #2

Sun Ra maintained a big band from 1955 until his death in 1993, even though he was even further out on the fringe of the music industry than Charles Mingus, who only held onto smaller groups. Sun Ra consistently maintained...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Sun Ra
Title: Singles
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Evidence
Original Release Date: 9/24/1996
Release Date: 9/24/1996
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Avant Garde & Free Jazz, Swing Jazz
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 730182216424

Sun Ra maintained a big band from 1955 until his death in 1993, even though he was even further out on the fringe of the music industry than Charles Mingus, who only held onto smaller groups. Sun Ra consistently maintained he came from another planet-and his taste in clothes and harmonies lent some credence to the claim-but he also felt he could connect with a broad terrestrial audience, which is why he continually released singles on his Saturn label. Some of these singles were his trademark space-jazz, but most of them were more down-to-earth-doo-wop, blues, R&B vocals, swing standards, novelty songs and big-band dance numbers. Yet they all had the Sun Ra touch, which made them weird and worldly all at once. --Geoffrey Himes

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CD Reviews

Brilliant, Bizarre and Important too
George Grella | Brooklyn | 06/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a treasure-trove of some of the most unexpected and fascinating music from Sun Ra. As a lot of the descriptions point out, this is mostly R&B style pop music - it was all literally made as 45' singles, meant for juke-box play. The surprising part, of course, is that one of the great avant-garde jazz musicians would make these records, but on reflection it's really not so strange. The avant-garde in jazz, with Sun Ra and the Art Ensemble as great examples, have always had their roots deep in blues, R&B and other African-American pop music, not necessarily out of necessity but out of love. Just listen to the blues in Ornette Coleman's playing, or read Lester Bowie's stories about playing in funk bands. Even Coltrane paid his dues by 'walkin' the bar' in R&B bands.Unlike other comments, I think this music is perfect for a Sun Ra fan, as I am, because as a true lover of his music, you have to let the man do what he wants and not pigeon-hole your own listening with your expectations. Expect that unexpected with this set, which is by turns charming, funny and bizarre, but always true and sincere. A must, a real must for any true Sun Ran fan."
An Amazing Achievement!!But DONT Start Here
George Grella | 08/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am relatively new to the world of Sun Ra (started 7/99). Someone mentioned him to me and I decided to start my Sun Ra collection the way I started my collection with most rock groups and that is with a compilation of hits or singles. I bought this and was immediately put off by what I heard. I later tried "Other Planes of There" after hearing a extraordinary Sun Ra song on a college radio station, and that was the real start of my Sun Ra collection of nearly 70 cds. This singles compilation remains a high point in my collection.
The reason this isnt the place to start is although it is a singles compilation, which I still cannot believe they were able to compile considering how obscure a great deal of them are, but alot of what is on here is Sun Ra in a support role to another act. The other act being a Rhythm and Blues act with performances I have grown to love, even though they are not typical Sun Ra by any stretch of the imagination.
If you are a seasoned veteran of Sun Ra from any period the 50s, 60s,70s, 80s, buy this album and let it grow on you. If you are interested in Sun Ra and wonder where to start I would ask yourself Big Band?? or Free Jazz?? If the answer is just swing and a good time start with "Jazz in Silhouette". But if you want free jazz taken further than John Coltranes deepest dreams. Try "Atlantis" and the peek of the genre "Magic City"."
Great for Fans, Not for Beginners
Scott McFarland | Manassas, VA United States | 10/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The music on here is not typical Sun Ra. Evidence have done a wonderful job of collecting rare material into an informative, well-presented package. Unfortunately many potential fans may try to start an investigation of Ra's music here, when much of the content here is not reflective of Ra's jazzier, more arranged LPs. What is here is interesting, but it is by no means Ra's best stuff - though there are some real pearls of beauty in here.Here's to the unmasking of the Batman."