Sun RaWalking to the post office yesterday morning, drenched in sunlight and with a brisk cool wind at my heels I came across a fruit tree  already in full bloom. A reminder that Spring is just around the corner. An aptly timed coincidence then that one of the CD’s I bought last weekend was the wonderful Sleeping Beauty by Sun Ra which features the bittersweet Springtime Again. This album, originally released in 1979, was recently reissued by UK label Art Yard. Not as overtly “out there” as some of his recordings it features a nice mix of melodic jazz, improvisation and group-singing. Sun Ra was born Herman Poole Blount in 1914. He changed his name to Sun Ra, named after the Egyptian God Ra, God of the Sun. A true individual, he believed he was from the planet Saturn and had a complex cosmological philosophy which he preached via his music, focussing on self-awareness and peace. At one time his band The Sun Ra Arkestra all lived together in the same house and he would hold gruelling practice sessions most days of the week. His band were expected to be, like him, completely dedicated to the music. Up until his death in 1993 he released a huge number of records, many of which, such as Sleeping Beauty, were originally only pressed in small quantities and sold at gigs. I’m glad labels such as Art Yard have unearthed some of these lost gems…

Sun Ra – Springtime Again

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