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Space Is The Place

The Lives And Times Of Sun Ra

By John F. Szwed

Sun Ra, a.k.a. Herman Poole "Sonny" Blount (1914–1993), has been hailed as "one of the great big-band leaders, pianists, and surrealists of jazz" (New York Times) and as "the missing link between Duke Ellington and Public Enemy" (Rolling Stone). Composer, keyboardist, bandleader, philosopher, poet, and self-proclaimed extraterrestrial from Saturn, Sun Ra led his "Intergalactic Arkestra" of thirty-plus musicians in a career that ranged from boogie-woogie and swing to be-bop, free jazz, fusion, and New Age music. This definitive biography reveals the life, philosophy, and musical growth of one of the twentieth century's greatest avant-garde musicians.
John F. Szwed is Musser Professor of Anthropology, African-American Studies, Music, and American Studies at Yale University. He has written about music for TheVillage Voice, Vibe,the Boston Phoenix, and other publications. He lives in Connecticut.
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