Retrospect and Face The Music – 1989

Sun Ra Arkestra

The mystical bandleader’s appearance on David Sanborn’s Sunday Night

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Sunday Night, which was hosted by David Sanborn with strong input from its musical director Hal Willner, featured a wide variety of music, particularly artists who otherwise rarely if ever appeared on television.

Sun Ra and his Arkestra, with the leader’s complex philosophy and the mixture of futuristic music with costumes that were a combination of ancient Egypt and science fiction, were memorable guests on one edition of the program.

Ra’s large Arkestra (which includes altoist Marshall Allen and tenor-saxophonist John Gilmore) is featured on “Retrospect” and “Face The Music”; the latter has some surprising singing.

It is to Sanborn and Willner’s great credit that Ra was able to present his unique music for over 12 minutes with no interruptions from the host.

-Scott Yanow


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