Friday, June 25, 2010


May 1966, Sun Ra and his Arkestra did a tour of five New York colleges. Part of the 1966/05/18 concert found its way to the "Nothing Is.." album, released in 1970.

As Russ Musto explains in the liner notes of "College Tour Vol.I", this was a full year before Jimi Hendrix released his "Are You Experienced" album; one year before The Beatles did "Sergeant Pepper's".
The Mothers Of Invention had just recorded their "Freak Out" album. It wasn't even out yet. No wonder that Frank Zappa decided to move the band to NYC little after that.

Sun Ra and his Arkestra were defining new boundaries, pushing the limits.
On "College Tour", the band performs some superb Sun Ra compositions and Arkestra members John Gilmore, Marshall Allen and Pat Patrick show why most Saturnians consider this line-up as their favourite.

"College Tour Vol.I" presents the soundcheck, the first set, and a part of the second set of the 1966/05/18 concert.
As the "Nothing Is..." album was taken from the first set of this concert, the entire 40 minutes of the LP are included in "College Tour Vol.I". So should we consider this album as a re-release of "Nothing Is..."? Not really, as "College Tour" clocks at almost 140 minutes !!

In my list, "College Tour Vol.I" is the perfect introduction to Sun Ra.
If you're not familiar with the music of Sun Ra, get your hands on this one.
If you already know "Nothing Is...", you know that you will need "College Tour" as well.

Great show(s),
great artwork,
Essential listening!

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