Song of the Day: Sun Ra “The Others in Their World”
I honestly don’t know where to begin with Sun Ra. For me, he is one of the most incredible composers, arrangers, instrumentalists, philosophers, innovators, rebels, pioneers, activists and thinkers of all time. Many people immediately associate him with just being ‘far-out,’ which he certainly was (but it is so far from the whole story, that it’s not even funny!). This notion has caused many music-lovers, particularly jazz-lovers, not to take him seriously and to miss out on exploring his large and extremely varied body of work.
The particular tune featured here, (clocking in at a mere two minutes and fifteen seconds), is just a sliver the kind of compositional genius that could easily be associated with more widely-acclaimed jazz band leaders such as Duke Ellington, Tad Dameron, or Thelonious Monk. The song, like so many of his gorgeous compositions, transports me to a imaginary place far beyond myself – far beyond even this world! Its also worth mentioning that the trumpet solo on this track is nice! Enjoy this little gem, recorded in 1960 and released on Sun Ra‘s own Saturn label in 1965 on the album, Fate in a Pleasant Mood.
Herman Poole Blount, better known as ‘Sun Ra‘, entered the planet earth by way of Birmingham, Alabama, on May 22nd in the year of 1914. By the age of 11, he was already a formidable pianist: composing original music and sight reading just about any piece of music you could put in front of him. I will not attempt to recount any more of Sun Ra‘s biography or information on his life’s work here, as it is far too complex and vast to begin to try and summarize. For those who are interested, there are a number of wonderful books available. A great place to start is with John F. Szwed‘s excellent biography, Space Is The Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra. Sun Ra left this earth on May 30th, 1993, leaving behind a body of musical work and a legacy that continues to grow more powerful with each generation. Sun Ra is a bright light!