John Gilmore and Sun Ra

John Gilmore

Gilmore on Ra

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John Gilmore discusses his reasons for playing with Sun Ra for so long.

After a brief stint with Earl Hines, he met Sun Ra around 1953.

John Gilmore primarily played the tenor sax throughout his career, although he occasionally filled in on drums and bass clarinet.

John Coltrane’s recording of “Chasin’ the Trane” was partly inspired by John Gilmore, which is significant as it combined elements of free jazz, neoclassicism, and jamming in one piece.

Gilmore remained with Sun Ra’s “Arkestra” for over 40 years.

During this time, he also toured with other groups such as the Jazz Messengers in the mid-1960s and recorded with various musicians, including Pete LaRoca and Andrew Hill.


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