Sat 30.09.17

JAZZ 100: How Sun Ra's Definitive Singles Catalog Finally Saw The Light of Day

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Conversation with Paul Griffiths, compiler of Sun Ra’s Ultimate Singles Collection

The very first jazz album was released 100 years ago: The Original Dixieland Jass Band with ‘Livery Stable Blues’. That’s why AB will be paying extra attention to jazz for a year. From contemporary classics to musical troublemakers who are inspired by jazz, to the latest incredibly headstrong jazz generation from local soil.


Did you too happen to wonder what music Radiohead put on after their set at Rock Werchter? It was the superb doo wop track ‘Bye Bye’ by elusive jazz legend Sun Ra. Now to be rediscovered on the recently released triple-set ‘The Definitive 45s Collection’, via Strut Records.

Sun Ra – Herman Poole ‘Sonny’ Blount – must have just about the biggest oeuvre in the entire history of jazz to his name, with an estimated +/- 120 albums. His work was the equivalent of cosmic jazz, avant garde and fusion, but also that of doo wop and big band jazz. London journalist Paul Griffiths managed to show us a lesser known side of Sun Ra: the work that was released on 7”, which was quite extensive. Remarkable: as, since the introduction of the 12” LP in 1948, that (unlike for pop music) was the perfect outlet for the typically more drawn-out jazz compositions,.

Afrofuturisme, kosmische jazz & Sun Ra Arkestra.

The Wire: ‘This constellation of miniature masterpieces is arguably the finest introduction to the Ra universe there is.’

Kurt Overbergh: ‘Sun Ra wordt studieobject numéro uno tijdens mijn pensioen. Strut’s unieke ‘The Definitive 45s Collection’ is mijn garantie voor het slagen in het ingangsexamen.’

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