Sun Ra Arkestra’s mix of free jazz, spiritual jazz and avantgard and communist Poland in 1986 are such a two opposite things. Just an idea that Sun Ra with his Arestra played live concert during the 13th International Jazz Piano festival in Kalisz in 1986 is massive.
Probably this historical and political background (even for Sun Ra fan) makes this album even more special.
Thumbs up for Adrian Magrys and Mateusz Surma from Lanquidity Records for great work on this release. I guess it must be something special for them too – name of the their Label is taken from Sun Ra 1978 album on Philly Jazz.
After a few years of intense searching and meticulous preparation, Lanquidity Records have announced the release of their Sun Ra Arkestra project – a rare recording of the ensemble’s little-known, first ever performance in Poland in 1986! Recently rediscovered, the complete tape of the concert lay for almost three decades in a Kalisz basement collecting dust.
At the time of the recording, the Polish People’s Republic (as it was then named) had been under martial law for five years, imposed by a Pro-Moscow regime in 1981 that was desperately trying to cling on to the vestiges of power. In what was a grey twilight of the socialist era, there was at least a beacon of light amongst all the gloom – the Kalisz International Jazz Piano Festival. 1986 saw the festival hold its thirteenth edition – a number which proved to be memorable for festival goers, thankfully for all the right reasons.
Under a political system that oppressed any form of ideological challenge, it is perhaps surprising that a communist regime would allow such an intransigent radical as Sun Ra (the most prominent pioneer of Afro-Futurism), and the experimental jazz big band that was organised like a religious association, into the country. Ultimately, Sun Ra & his Arkestra let the music do the talking. In what turned out turned out to be a memorable moment for the concert-goers, the Arkestra ended their performance with a closing procession of musicians, who left the stage to walk around the audience, circle the venue, and returned.
Part taken from Label site http://www.lanquidityrecords.com/
Remastered by Marcin Cichy of Skalpel (Ninja Tune), the album drops on 26th October.
You can hear three tracks from the show just below.
The recording takes in 10 tracks which will all be released across two pieces of vinyl. It features Sun Ra on piano and synthesiser backed by 11 other musicians, playing tracks such as ‘Children of the Sun’ and ‘Prelude to a Kiss’ in addition to a selection of improvised and untitled pieces.
Danny Ray Thompson (bassoon, sax)
Laurdine Kenneth “Pat” Patrick (baritone saxophone, alto saxophone, and Fender bass)
Marshall Belford Allen (alto sax)
Tyler Mitchell ( Bass )
Ronald Wilson ( Tenor Sax )
John Gilmore ( Tenor Sax, Clarinet )
James Jacson ( Bassoon, Ancient Egyptian Infinity Drums )
Leroy Taylor ( Alto Sax, Alto & Bass Clarinet )
Tyrone Hill ( Trombone )
Earl “Buster” Smith ( Drums )
Carl LeBlanc ( Guitar )
Sun Ra ( Piano, Synthesizer )
1. Infinity Drum Intro/Discipline 27-II
2. Children of the Sun
3. Improvised I
4. Yeah Man!
5. Improvised II
6. Untitled Blues
7. I’ll never be the same
8. Prelude to a Kiss
9. Mack the Knife