Source: Bandcamp Daily, the story behind this release. The article ran a while back but deserves more eyeballs.
Sun Ra departed Earth on May 30, 1993, just days after the 79th anniversary of his arrival. (One doesn’t talk about Ra in terms of “birth” and “death,” but more on that later.) He left behind a massive, convoluted musical legacy—including at least 120 full-length albums, one of the world’s largest known discographies—and perhaps an even bigger mystery. Who was this jazz composer/arranger/bandleader/pianist, who insisted that he was a native of the planet Saturn and espoused a philosophy that blended science fiction, Biblical texts and ancient Egyptian history and mythology (wearing costumes that also expressed that combination)? And what were we to make of his music, which ranged from big-band swing to bebop to avant-garde and fusion?
Twenty-three years later, we have some answers. It’s only in that time, for example, that Sun Ra has been revealed to be the former Herman Poole “Sonny” Blount, born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1914. A small army of researchers has made some sense of his discography as well, assigning session dates and personnel to previously un-annotated tracks. Many of the Sun Ra Arkestra’s albums were ex post facto compilations of disparate sessions and lineups. Still, there are a number of holes and gray areas, and perhaps always will be. But with Strut Records’ release of Singles: The Definitive 45s Collection—an assemblage of one of Ra’s most overlooked bodies of work—the picture becomes a bit more complete.
Source: World Music Central.org.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Jon Hassell grew up with ears alert to divergent aspects of the jazz tradition, one early influence including Maynard Ferguson’s “stratospheric” trumpeting with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. While studying at the Eastman School of Music, Hassell became increasingly interested in serial music and more experimental expressions of the new music avant-garde, in the mid-1960s traveling to Cologne to study with pioneering composer Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Source: Red Bull Music Academy Daily.
Born Chaim Moshe Tzadik Palestine (or Charles Martin) to Eastern European Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York, Charlemagne Palestine is a musician, filmmaker and visual artist whose contemporaries include Tony Conrad, Laurie Anderson and Steve Reich, but who playfully defies the conventions and contexts most associated with modernist composition. After singing in synagogues as a young man, he became a carillonneur in the Saint Thomas Episcopal Church across the street from the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. It’s a sonic and visual pairing that feels apt, considering the interdisciplinary breadth of Palestine’s work and the fact that he’s known to prefer the term “trance music” to “minimal”; in his own words, “a kind of fundamental transportation to leave the ordinary.”
Source: Perfect Sound Forever. A few highlights:
When weird equipment ran free
GRUPPO DI IMPROVVISAZIONE
Italian improv & Morricone
MAKE AMERICA HATE AGAIN?
What music fuels the Trump movement?
METAL FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM
What are headbangers’ path forward?
A Turntable Is Not a Toy
Bahamas guitar, space jazz, Satan rock
Source: Portland Mercury.
Travis Laplante’s relationship with music goes beyond the simple joys of performing and listening. The New York-based saxophonist and qigong healer sees sound as something elemental that can have a huge impact on listeners.
“The transcendent quality of music, that’s what I’m interested in,” he says, speaking from his home in Brooklyn. “It’s so mysterious that it’s hard to describe with words. But there’s something about being in the moment with everyone as a human and letting the movement come alive and take a hold of our hearts. It’s a transmission that I’ve felt and I know any music lover has felt. Something is happening there that is greater than the sum of all the parts.”
It was this kind of transmission that Laplante was hoping to create when he literally dreamt up his current group, Battle Trance.