John Gilmore and Sun Ra

John Gilmore

Gilmore on Ra

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

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

John Gilmore played tenor sax for most of his career, although he sometimes filled in on drums and bass clarinet.

John Coltrane’s recording of “Chasin’ the Trane” was inspired in part by John Gilmore, important because it brought together the styles of free jazz, neoclassicism and jamming in one piece.

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

Throughout this time, he toured with other groups such as the Jazz Messengers in the mid-1960s and played on recordings with many musicians including Pete LaRoca and Andrew Hill.