Tuesday, November 3, 2015


A message from Erwin Chusid on the Saturn newsgroup :

Michael and I have now completed and released 50 digitally remastered Sun Ra albums (+ nine iTunes-only samplers). Most were remastered from tape, a few from rare vinyl when tape was unavailable. All are available in AAC+ 24-bit format from iTunes, and as mp3s (distributed by Virtual) thru Amazon, eMusic, and other surviving digital retail outlets.

A large part (but not all) of the iTunes Sun Ra catalog is here:

(If you dislike Apple, iTunes, or digital formats in general, please refrain from gripes here. If not for a passionate Ra fan on the editorial staff at iTunes, none of these remasters—and the vinyl and CDs which have and will continue to emerge from them—would have happened. One guy with an idea started it all. He prefers to downplay his role.)

Our recent digital releases are:

Antique Blacks (1974)

Beyond the Purple Star Zone (1980)

God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be (1979)

Aurora Borealis (1981)

Oblique Parallax (1980)

Dance of Innocent Passion (1982)

Antique Blacks is differently configured than the Saturn LP and Art Yard CD. It mirrors the original session tape (which includes a 24-minute Antique Blacks "suite"), sounds cleaner, and is sequenced according to the tape. Art Yard's CD is still available, but our digital version has replaced AY's. Aurora Borealis = solo piano. God Is More Than Love = solid jazz trio set with Sunny, Samarai, and Hayes. Oblique and Purple Star Zone are Detroit residency sets.

Strut has issued two double LPs & CDs: "In the Orbit of Ra" (compiled by Marshall Allen) and "To Those of Earth and Other Worlds" (curated by Gilles Peterson). These albums largely consist of material from our catalog of digitally remastered recordings.



We're partnering with a new Sundazed imprint, Modern Harmonic, on a series of vinyl releases. First up will be a 2-LP vocal/song compilation (Space Age is Here to Stay) that will contain remastered catalog tracks and some previously unreleased material from Michael's archive. Target release: March 2016. After that, a collection of Sun Ra Exotica. Sundazed has also signed on for a series of 7" and 10" singles, which should roll out in early 2016.

We've partnered with Virtual to issue remastered LP/CD editions of classic Saturn catalog albums, some containing bonus material. This project is taking longer than anticipated to launch because of technical logistics. We have Ben Young (ex-WKCR) and Joe Lizzi (Ben's partner at Triple Point Records) on board for new tape transfers and album mastering.

Art Yard (Peter Dennett) will soon be issuing on LP/CD "I Roam the Cosmos," a 51-minute live 1972 performance spotlighting a call-and-response between Sunny and June. The previously unreleased track was mastered last year and released digitally. Earlier this year, in conjunction with Strut, AY issued the previously unreleased "Planets of Life or Death: Amiens '73," also featuring Sunny and June. Next year AY will issue a double LP/CD of a previously unreleased Sun Ra piano and Moog performance with vocals recorded in Rome 1977.

Michael and I are currently working on remastered versions of Soul Vibrations of Man, Discipline 27-II, Crystal Spears, Cymbals, Pathways to Unknown Worlds, Friendly Love, Discipline 99, Taking a Chance on Chances, and Unity (complete Storyville shows). There will be some bonus material and in some cases new mixes from 4-track tapes.



Irwin Chusid

1 comment:

  1. Cool, I can't wait to hear Discipline 99 and Taking a Chance.