Celebrating the Germantown transplant, who died in 1993 at age 79, has become a preoccupation of labels like Atavistic and Evidence, which are bringing out previously unreleased recordings from Ra’s own Saturn imprint. While Ra and his merry men, the Arkestra, played themselves in the 1974 film Space Is the Place, recent documentaries like Brother From Another Planet and local director Ephraim Asili’s new Points on a Space Age flourish. Philly’s ICA even has a Sun Ra Arkestra exhibit running until August.
Yet for all this acclaim, little has been allocated to Ra’s eventual successor and Arkestra leader, saxophonist Marshall Allen.
Sunday’s sold-out Ars Nova Arkestra concert and 85th birthday party for Allen at Johnny Brenda’s helped rectify that.
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