Saturday, October 14, 2006

planet earth doesn't produce sun ra

I just saw part of a documentary called "Sun Ra: Brother From Another Planet" on BBC 2. Lots of footage from concerts, movies/videos and talking heads such as John F. Swzed, Amiri Baraka, Marshall Allen and other Arkestra musicians. And lots of Ra's own thoughts, obviously. Ra playing a keyboard angled at 80 degrees while spinning like a top is quite... something. It's weird that even here, the possible written elements ("Sun Ra would write out entire solos for you") are seen as legitimating the music in ways improvisation alone could not ("My daughter could improvise that." "But could she write it?").

It was late and I was drowsy, so by the end it was all a blur of glittering gowns. Luckily, it's been partially youtubed (cf. the beginning of part 4 for spinning Sun Ra) and completely google(video)d (which is the same thing now, I guess).