Where This Meets That
“Tuesday Tunage” is a weekly spotlight for music I deem worthy of a spotlight. To make it worth all of our time, I’ll do my best to emphasize tunes you probably haven’t heard before that represent the art in all its glorious varieties.
Jazz pioneer Sun Ra’s life took an unlikely journey from 1914 Birmingham, Alabama to 1937 Planet Saturn before his music landed here today at Falcone’s Crossroads.
Born Herman Blount, he was recognized early for his musical prodigy, able to sight read music and compose his own songs on piano as a pre-teen. Wikipedia claims, “he would see big band performances and produce full transcriptions of the bands’ songs from memory.”
A brilliant student, Blount graduated high school among the top in his class. He attended only one year of college, from 1936 to 1937, during which he claimed to have mystical experience in which aliens teleported him to a planet he identified as Saturn then told him to quit school and instead live to bring his music to a chaotic world. Genius or madman, or both, he followed that vision passionately.
In 1952, he legally changed his name to Le Sony’r Ra and released his first album as Sun Ra in 1957. This week’s featured track is an esoteric piece from his 1959 album Jazz in Silhouette called “Ancient Aethiopia”.
I hope you enjoy this one for a change of pace.