May 22, 2014. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
It's the 100th anniversary of afrofuturist Sun Ra's "Arrival" from the planet Saturn, by way of Alabama, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia. Listen to his Arkestra perform "Space Is The Place," as recorded by WBGO on April 21, 1991:
Sun Ra was born Herman Poole "Sonny" Blount in Birmingham, Alabama in 1914, and developed his persona and approach to music, which combined imagery from Egyptian mythology, Freemasonry and space travel, while based in Chicago in the 1940s.
His big band, the Arkestra, embodied this vision in sound and dress, and performed his sophisticated arrangements, which incorporated psychedelia, traditional African folk songs and bebop. His live shows were spiritual, and made a profound impression on those who saw them.
“When I saw Sun Ra on the banks of the Hudson in the late 1980s,” recalls JazzSet producer Becca Pulliam, “it was a long summer evening, the sun was setting, and he had a little electric keyboard. I wonder what powered it. He and the musicians were singing "We travel the space wa-aves .. from pla-net to pla-net .."
To celebrate Sun Ra's centennial, former Arkestra drummer Michael D. Anderson has digitally remastered and released more than twenty albums from the first half of his career, from 1957 through 1972, many of which have never been available in digital form. For more information, visit iTunes.
Happy anniversary, Sun Ra!
© 2014 WBGO
May 21, 2014. Posted by Carmen Balentine.
WBGO and 2 Gateway Center invite you to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of WBGO 88.3 FM at the monthly free concert series featuring Clifton Anderson on Wednesday, June 4 at 12pm.
Trombonist Clifton Anderson grew up surrounded by music. His father was a church organist /choir director, and his mother a singer and pianist. When he was just seven years old he got his first trombone, a gift from his uncle Sonny Rollins. Anderson got the call to join his uncle's group in 1983 and worked with him touring worldwide and appearing on ten of Sonny’s recordings. He left Sonny’s band in 2009 to actively lead his own group full time.
Anderson has worked with a “who’s who” of diverse musical giants including Frank Foster, McCoy Tyner, Stevie Wonder, Dizzy Gillespie, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Paul Simon, Keith Richards, WyClef Jean, and T.S. Monk among others. His recordings as a leader/producer include the critically acclaimed Landmarks and Decade which led to a nomination for 2009 “Trombonist Of The Year” from The American Jazz Journalists Association. His latest recording And So We Carry On reached #4 on national jazz radio in the US and was picked as “One of the top CD releases of 2012” by Jazz Inside Magazine. He is now working with his stellar quintet in support of the recording.
Anderson says, “With people increasingly faced with turmoil, uncertainty and crisis, I wanted to create music that uplifts the listener and offers a sense of hope to prevail”.
Come and uplift your spirit with WBGO, Clifton Anderson and 2 Gateway.
© 2014 WBGO