In October Sun Ra Arkestra, under the direction of the 96 year old Marshall Allen, are releasing their first studio album in over twenty years, Swirling. It was recorded at Rittenhouse Soundworks in Philadelphia, with a big band line-up featuring long-standing Arkestra members including Danny Ray Thompson (RIP), Michael Ray, Vincent Chancey, Knoel Scott, Cecil Brooks, Atakatune (RIP), Elson Nascimento and Tyler Mitchell. The great Sun Ra passed in 1993, though the Arkestra has continued since, even making it to Tasmania’s Mona Foma Festival the year we were there. You can read our review here.
Tracks on Swirling include brand new arrangements of Arkestra staples ‘Angels And Demons At Play’ which you can hear above, ‘Satellites Are Spinning’, ‘Door Of The Cosmos’ and ‘Rocket No. 9’ alongside lesser known tracks like ‘Darkness’, which is recorded here for the first time, resurrected from the Ra archives by Marshall Allen. Other highlights include a version of ‘Seductive Fantasy’ (first recorded on Ra’s On Jupiter LP in 1979), ‘Infinity / I’ll Wait For You’ and a first ever recording of the Marshall Allen swing composition, ‘Swirling’.
This is what Marshall Allen has to say about it:
“This new release is the Arkestra’s love offering to the world. Beta music for a better world.”
Swirling is released via Strut on the 9th of October. You can pre order here.