- sun ra: the eternal myth revealed - volume one - the early music history of sun ra
(2011, 14 cd-box, usa, sun ra music archive / transparency 0316)
Last year, Michael Anderson, the curator of the Sun Ra Music Archive, teamed up with the Transparency record label to release the first part of an in-depht study of the music of Sun Ra.
The result, and this is just part 1, is an astounding set of 14 CDs, housed in a nice box, and accompanied by a book.
When I first heard about this project, I was wondering what it could be or what it could become. It is only after listening to a couple of discs that I understood the enormous amount of work and dedication (both from Michael Anderson and from Transparency) that has been put into this publication.
"The Eternal Myth Revealed" is presented as an audio documentary. Michael Anderson not just talks about all of Sun Ra's various projects and recordings in a chronical way, he also presents all of the available material.
The first ten discs include material that has Sun Ra as a pianist, a composer and and as an arranger, all pre-dating the Arkestra days. From disc eleven on, the Arkestra enters the stage.
As I said, the box includes all of the available recordings. This means that if there are four takes of a certain tune, that you get all of those four takes, one after another. So you get a pretty impressive collection of audio tracks, but presented in a scientifical, chronological way.
In between the audio tracks and Michael's comments, there's also lots of snippets of interviews to be found.
"The Eternal Myth Revealed" is an unbelievable collection of Sun Ra material. The only disadvantage is that you can not listen to it as a studio album or as a live concert, and that might be disappointing to some. On the other hand, it's part one of the ultimate Sun Ra audio documentary.