Sun Ra, Sunset

Music Archives: Jazz

When There Is No Sun


“The sky is a sea of darkness

when there is no sun

to light the way

there is no day

there is only darkness

an eternal sea of darkness”

                                                                                                                        Sun Ra

Care to listen?


Sun Ra was a musician, poet and philosopher originally from the planet Saturn, or so he said. An introduction to his life can be approached from any number of angles and equations. Over the years Ra had developed a spiritual belief system derived from ancient imagesEgypt and merged with space-age mysticism. In the mid 1950s  he formed the The Sun Ra Arkestra and melded his musical compositions and cosmic philosophy.  His records and performances were full of eccentric surprises. The Arkestra was a disciplined band that could play in a wide variety of styles with equal skill and Ra was a prolific jazz composer, band leader, piano player and synthesizer player. Ra was one of the first musicians to pioneer the electric base, electronic keyboards, synthesizers, and the use of extensive percussion. At times he would modify the electronic instruments to explore for potential sounds. Ra was a jazz band leader who pushed the limits of group improvisation. He was eons ahead of his contemporaries. Some of the most bizarre keyboard work and free jazz ever recorded was performed by The Sun Ra Arkestra. They created sounds that had never been heard before. The Arkestra was all about experimental synth music,  free jazz, sonic noise,  freak out moments, psychedelic vocal musings, mutated and crashing horn lines backed by a rhythmic pulse. Sun Ra had specific ideas  how he wanted his music played and those ideas were very different from anything else that was being played at the time.

In 1956 the band formed their own record label: Saturn. If you have 45:00 minutes give a listen. Nothing radical, just a nice jazz set from an earlier era. A good introduction.

First album recorded on the Saturn label: Super Sonic Jazz, 1956…..India – 4:52, Sunology – 5:43, Advice to Medics – 2:05, Super Blonde – 2:39, Soft talk – 2:44, Sunology, Part II – 7:09, Kingdom of Not – 5:34, Blues at Midnight – 6:33, El is a Sound of Joy – 4:00, Springtime in Chicago – 3:54, Medicene for a Nightmare – 2:25


Sun Ra centennial of birth MAY 22 1914…

Peace, Dohn



Jazz pianist, bandleader, composer, and cosmic philosopher Le Sony’r Ra, or Sun Ra, remains an influential and controversial figure in jazz history. – See more at:

About earthstonestation

promoting environmental education, protecting all species and preserving the wild places with art, music and storytelling.
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8 Responses to Sun Ra, Sunset

  1. McEff says:

    Hi Dohn. I had that playing all the while I was catching up on your other posts. I like jazz and I liked Sun Ra, but I must admit I’d never heard of him before. You take a great sunset picture, by the way.
    Cheers, Alen

    • Hey Alen, glad you trusted me enough to push the button and give a listen. I knew of the Arkestra years ago.What a character, I didn’t even mention the headgear and wardrobe. Sun Ra came to mind looking at the photo and lo and behold his 100th birthdate was later that week. Enjoy the tunes, Dohn

  2. Can’t argue with a persons roots. Anything is possible.

  3. Gneiss Moon says:

    Huh ! He said that ? Interesting.
    Hunted up his deets – whopping Gemini stellium: Sun, Mercury, Saturn (in good aspect), Venus, Pluto. Many trines from clever Gem to Aquarius Uranus and Jupiter making an inventive, quirky communicator. The one tough aspect from Saturn is an exact square to Chiron (wounded healer), in Pisces, the highest octave of the arts and music.
    Very cool, thanks for the music, suns and lovely post… happy day to you !

    • Mahalo for the additional insight. Facinating. As I was reviewing some sunset photos Sun Ra wandered into mind. That was a week before his birthday. It’s been an interesting review of his legacy since and I have a new found appreciation for his vision

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