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Space Is The Place: The Lives And Times Of…
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Space Is The Place: The Lives And Times Of Sun Ra (original 1997; edição 1998)

por John F. Szwed

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2022105,200 (4.15)3
Always riveting, Space Is the Place is the definitive biography of "one of the great big-band leaders, pianists, and surrealists of jazz"  (New York Times)--unparalleled for his purposeful outlandishness, a man who exerted a powerful influence over a vast array of artists. Sun Ra--a/k/a Herman Poole "Sonny  Blount--was born in Alabama on May 22, 1914. But like Father Divine and Elijah Muhammad, he made a lifelong effort to obscure many of the facts of his early life. After years as a rehearsal pianist for nightclub revues and in blues and swing bands, including Wynonie Harris's and Fletcher Henderson's, Sun Ra set out in the 1950s to find a way to impart his views about the galaxy, black people, and spiritual matters through the various incarnations of the Intergalactic Arkestra. His repertoire ranging from boogie-woogie, swing, and bebop to free form, fusion, and whatever, Sun Ra was above all a paragon of contradictions: profundity and vaudevil≤ technical pianistic virtuosity and irony; assiduous attention to arrangements and encouragement of collective improvisation; respect for tradition and celebration of the fresh. Some might have been bemused by his Afro-Platonic neo-hermeticism; others might have laughed at his egregious excesses. But Sun Ra was at once one of the great avant-gardists of the latter half of the twentieth century and a black cultural nationalist who extended Afrocentrism from ancient Egypt to the heavens.… (mais)
Membro:JerryGarcia
Título:Space Is The Place: The Lives And Times Of Sun Ra
Autores:John F. Szwed
Informação:Da Capo Press (1998), Paperback, 496 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Space Is The Place: The Lives And Times Of Sun Ra por John F. Szwed (1997)

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"His first UK performance... was one of the most spectacular concerts ever held in this country. Not spectacular so much in terms of effects, which were low on budget but high on strange atmosphere; spectacular in terms of presenting a complete world view, so occult, so other, to all of us in the audience that the only possible responses were outright dismissal or complete intuitive empathy with a man who had chosen to discard all possibilities of a normal life, even a normal jazz life, in favor of an unremitting alien identity." -David Toop

"Don't have nothin' to do with that. Stand your ground." -Sun Ra

Such an exciting, literate, well-researched and beautiful biography. ( )
  uncleflannery | May 16, 2020 |
Sun Ra, wrapped in the mythology of ancient Egypt and glittering with the sheen of space-age technology, seemed too far out. He claimed to come from Saturn, and he was at least three planets distant from Earth: as an African American (Mars), a jazz musician (Jupiter) and an avant-gardist (there’s Saturn). And then there is his personal vision. Ra was a brilliant musician who mixed and melded music from the entire history of jazz with classical, African and electronics. His performances were unforgettable multi-media extravaganzas that featured chanting, dancing, wild costumes, poetry and fabulous music.

Ra was no fool. He built a big band and kept it working for fifty years, long after the more famous bands had folded up. He was perhaps the first African American to own his own label – Saturn. He controlled his own publishing and distribution (mostly). He made two films, one of which has become a cult classic (Space is the Place).

This collection by John Sinclair, former manager of MC5 and a producer of many of Ra’s concerts offers a tantalizing introduction to Sun Ra. Memoirs by the Arkestra, reviews of major concerts, essays on the Ra’s place in cultural history will send you running to find the music. Interviews with Sun Ra himself both mystify and demonstrate the originality of his thinking. Ra-inspired poetry by Amiri Baraka (Leroy Jones, prose by DJ Steve Fly Agaric 23, and a collection of graphic art add other dimensions.

Sun Ra remains a fascinating figure, a composer and performer whose work is becoming better known through the release of new compilations and restored recordings. This book is both inspired and inspirational and offers important insights into the work of this unjustly neglected artist.
2 vote fredvandoren | Oct 4, 2010 |
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Always riveting, Space Is the Place is the definitive biography of "one of the great big-band leaders, pianists, and surrealists of jazz"  (New York Times)--unparalleled for his purposeful outlandishness, a man who exerted a powerful influence over a vast array of artists. Sun Ra--a/k/a Herman Poole "Sonny  Blount--was born in Alabama on May 22, 1914. But like Father Divine and Elijah Muhammad, he made a lifelong effort to obscure many of the facts of his early life. After years as a rehearsal pianist for nightclub revues and in blues and swing bands, including Wynonie Harris's and Fletcher Henderson's, Sun Ra set out in the 1950s to find a way to impart his views about the galaxy, black people, and spiritual matters through the various incarnations of the Intergalactic Arkestra. His repertoire ranging from boogie-woogie, swing, and bebop to free form, fusion, and whatever, Sun Ra was above all a paragon of contradictions: profundity and vaudevil≤ technical pianistic virtuosity and irony; assiduous attention to arrangements and encouragement of collective improvisation; respect for tradition and celebration of the fresh. Some might have been bemused by his Afro-Platonic neo-hermeticism; others might have laughed at his egregious excesses. But Sun Ra was at once one of the great avant-gardists of the latter half of the twentieth century and a black cultural nationalist who extended Afrocentrism from ancient Egypt to the heavens.

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