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Sun Ra Quartet

The Sky Is A Sea of Darkness When There is No Sun To Light The Way/Somewhere in Space [7-inch VINYL]

Sun Ra Quartet: The Sky Is A Sea of Darkness When There is No Sun To Light The Way/Somewhere in Spac (Art Yard)

A 7" single of two recordings from the Sun Ra Quartet, the first a 1978 recording featuring John Gilmore's "The Sky Is A Sea Of Darkness When There Is No Sun To Light The Way" performed with Michael Ray on trumpet, Luqman Ali on drums, and Gilmore on sax; the B-side presenting a 1958 version of "Somewhere in Space"; 70gm vinyl with picture sleeve.
 

Price: $19.95


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product information:


Label: Art Yard
Catalog ID: ARTYARD 45003EP
Squidco Product Code: 29842

Format: 7" Record
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: UK
Packaging: 7" Record
Side A recorded in 1978, side B recorded in 1958.


Personnel:

Sun Ra-piano

John Gilmore-saxophone

Michael Ray-trumpet

Luqman Ali-drums

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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)
4/14/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"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))
4/14/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Trumpet player Michael Ray spent approximately 15 years with the Sun Ra Arkestra before he took the leap and established a band of his own, Michael Ray & the Cosmic Krewe. He had previously contributed to the sound of Kool & the Gang. While Sun Ra's outfit played free jazz, and Kool & the Gang was more of a contemporary funk outfit, Ray and his Cosmic Krewe have learned how to deliver their own type of funk to a jazz audience, as evidenced on the song "Earthrite." While the number gets the crowd moving in a big way every time during a live show, when Michael Ray & the Cosmic Krewe debuted with an eponymous release in 1994, it was decided that the mix was too much of a gamble. Evidence Music didn't include "Earthrite" on the release, although the song later found a place on Funk If I Know.

In addition to leading the Cosmic Krewe, Ray still plays trumpet with the Arkestra. Tipping his hat to the late jazz visionary, Ray included a couple of Ra's numbers, "Yolinda" and "Latin Monkey," on his Funk If I Know release. Ray also played with Phish on the album Phish: A Live One, as well as on-stage, and he contributed to Surrender to the Air by Trey Anastasio. His other work includes a soundtrack for PBS. Based in New Orleans, Michael Ray & the Cosmic Krewe took home the honor of Best Funk Band in 1999 when the outfit appeared at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Ray actually supervises a pair of ensembles named Cosmic Krewe -- one based in the Crescent City, the other in Burlington, VT, and the surrounding region. Members of both Krewes are represented on the Funk If I Know CD."-Linda Seida

-All Music (https://www.allmusic.com/artist/michael-ray-mn0000471358/biography)
4/14/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

" (born Edward Skinner; November 13, 1939 in Starkville, MS - August 19, 2007) was an American jazz drummer and multi-instrumentalist primarily known for his work with the Sun Ra Arkestra."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luqman_Ali)
4/14/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


SIDE A



1. The Sky Is A Sea Of Darkness When There Is No Sun To Light The Way 04:37

SIDE B



1. Somewhere in Space 07:29
sample the album:




descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Side B: Sun Ra Quartet featuring John Gilmore's "The Sky Is A Sea Of Darkness When There Is No Sun To Light The Way" is cut at 45rpm (recorded in 1978). The Other Side B: "Somewhere In Space" is cut at 33rpm, alien vocal version (recorded in 1958). Pressed as a heavy weight single 70gram with a picture sleeve."-Art Yard

Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
7" New
Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Sun Ra
Quartet Recordings
Song Based Music
New in Improvised Music
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