Sun Ra Arkestra & Marshall Allen – Babylon Live
Legendary pianist and bandleader Sun Ra departed from this Earth in 1993 but his cosmic legacy lives on via this excellent live set featuring his Arkestra recorded at the Babylon Club, Istanbul in May 2014. Now directed by ninety year old alto saxophonist/flautist Marshall Allen, the music reflects the imperturbable spirit of freedom and creativity of a band which has existed for some six decades.
Also on board for this particular astral journey are long established members of the Arkestra crew including Vincent Chancey (french horn), Knoel Scott (alto saxophone), Elson Nascimento (percussion) together with relative newcomers Tara Middleton (vocals & violin) and Farid Barron, the first to occupy the pianists chair since Sun Ra’s passing. As with all Arkestra performances the music is a beguiling mix of inter-planetary (free) flights of fancy and more conventional pieces such as “Stardust”, an appropriately titled standard, and the Ra penned “Saturn”, a fixture in the bands book since the mid 1950’s.
Recorded by IN+OUT Records in centenary of Sun Ra’s birth, this live set is a superb document of the Arkestra’s music as it is today and is available as a single CD or in a deluxe twin disc edition containing a DVD of the complete concert. The album is also dedicated to the memory of Mehmet Ulug, who together with his brother Ahmet, brought the Arkestra to Istanbul from the first time in 1990 and went on to open the Babylon Club.
Label: In & Out Records
Catalogue Number: IOR771229
Release Date: 29 June 2015