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Sun Ra Arkestra: Tiny Desk Concert

Marshall Allen and the Sun Ra Arkestra perform at the Tiny Desk. (NPR)

Sun Ra was a big-band innovator, a pioneer of recording and playing with electronics, a poet, a cosmic philosopher, a bandleader and a keyboard innovator who claimed to be from Saturn. Herman Poole Blount would have turned 100 in 2014 had he not left us more than 20 years ago. But his spirit lives on, and so does his long-running band.

On Halloween 2014, the Sun Ra Arkestra — complete with costumes inspired by Egyptian symbolism and science fiction — performed a rousing, out-of-this-world Tiny Desk Concert. The band was led by 91-year-old alto saxophonist Marshall Allen, who's been with the Arkestra since the early 1950s. All these years later, no one makes soul-stirring, spaced-out jazz quite like the Arkestra.

Set List

  • "Along Came Ra"/"Zoom"
  • "Queer Notions"
  • "Angels And Demons At Play"
  • "Interplanetary Music"

Credits

Producers: Bob Boilen, Mito Habe-Evans, Maggie Starbard; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Colin Marshall, Susan Hale Thomas, Maggie Starbard; Assistant Producer: Ryan Kellman

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