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Gheorghe

Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen

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On Sunday I saw the Sun Ra Arkestra live here in Vienna.

I was lucky I had a table in the 1st row so it was a "supersonic" experience for me to see and hear them in action from such a short distance. My deepest respect for the Master Marshall Allen, who at 95 years age is so much in action, he was constantly in action playing mostly alto and conducting the band.

Fantastic musicians, I´d like to mention Knoel Scott on bs and doing the announcements, James Steward on ts, Cecil Brooks on tp, Farid Abdul-Bari Barron on piano and keyboard, and the great young drummer I think Wayne Anthony Smith jr.

And the fantastic singer Tara Middleton. It was very interesting to compare her voice with the former concerts almost 40 years ago with June Tyson. Tara Middleton is a really strong bluesy voice and was very much in action, like June Tyson in former days together with Sun Ra himself.

I could recognize some tunes from earlier records and concerts, from "Nothing Is", some Fletcher Henderson stuff as usual, and a very fine version of "Strangers in Paradise".

It was a fantastic experience and highly recommanded if you catch them live. Right now they are on an extended European Tour, after this they will play in the States and in september I think back in Europe, also open air at Poschiavo, Switzerland.......

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I think Knoel Scott was in the lineup I saw in the late 1980s, along with Marshall Allen.

Sounds like a great experience. Mr Allen remains a force of nature !

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I saw Marshall Allen several times with NRBQ; he played with another Arkestra alum whose name escapes me.

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I saw the Arkestra three times (sans Ra), iirc -- all back in Kansas City around 1998-2003 -- all under Marshall Allen's able leadership.  Can't remember who all was in the band each time I saw then, but I probably knew better at the time.

I always thought Knoel Scott spelled his first name "Noel" (and his Wikipedia page says that was originally how it was spelled).  I'll have to check at home, but back in 1990, the one time I did see the Arkestra with Ra, I got about half-a-dozen random Arkestra members to sign the backs of my Blue Delight and Purple Night CD tray-cards -- and I'm pretty sure he signed as "Noel Scott" (I'll have to check at home tonight).  One of the half-dozen was none other than June Tyson, who I remember just as sweet and nice as she could be.

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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Pretty sure that the concert brochure I have from 1989 lists him as ‘Noel Scott’.

Edited by sidewinder

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proud of you my guy, yea that singer i saw her on recent video clips but she was not at my show in january, we instead had a male singer, who was very much sounded in the vein of Clyde Williams, and was a fantastic part of the band.  you also mention piano/keyboard.  my show in january had no piano or keyboards.  You didn't mention Danny Ray Thompson but i suppose he was there.   at my show we also got Michael Ray and extreme special guest Julian Priester

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oh and was Vincent Chancey there (french horn)-  he was really great too.  Yea Knoel Scott was really good--- Dawg yea that was a really interesting part of the sun ra live experience for me, there was like some of the guys like Knoel Scott were members from the 80s that I did not know or ever heard of n stuff.  He did the lead vocal on "Rocket Number Nine take off, take off, take off, for the planet, for the planet, Venus" - he was great!

its my #1 show of the year I know already

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Yes its true I had forgotten to mention Danny Ray Thompson and the french horn player who was really fine.

About Michael Ray, I saw him with the Arkestra in 1980, he together with John Gilmore were very important voices in the Arkestra. To see Julian Priester with the Arkestra must have been a very special occasion.

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Haven't posted on here in an age...

Saw the Sun Ra Arkestra show in Edinburgh and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, crowd walkthroughs, and all. Marshall Allen was on fine form and Tara Middleton was great. Lots of solos to enjoy and the french horn player if it was Vincent Chancey was mighty fine. 

One of the gigs I passed up going to in the winter of 1991 was Sun Ra at the Village Vanguard. I can't remember why I didn't go whether it was funds or energy but I've always wished I had. This didn't quite make up for that but I was glad I was there.

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Vincent Chancey is listed in the list of current Band members. Lots of familiar names in that list - Elson Nascimento, Atakatune, Junie Booth.

1 hour ago, fent99 said:

Haven't posted on here in an age...

Saw the Sun Ra Arkestra show in Edinburgh and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, crowd walkthroughs, and all. Marshall Allen was on fine form and Tara Middleton was great. Lots of solos to enjoy and the french horn player if it was Vincent Chancey was mighty fine. 

One of the gigs I passed up going to in the winter of 1991 was Sun Ra at the Village Vanguard. I can't remember why I didn't go whether it was funds or energy but I've always wished I had. This didn't quite make up for that but I was glad I was there.

Welcome back ! Last Ra gig I caught was Boston in early 1990. From what I can gather e.g. from Zwed’s book the quality of live appearances dropped off from 1990 onwards. I had hoped to catch the late 1990/early 1991 Toronto appearance (Bermuda Onion) but events conspired.

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Not that this review is incredibly detailed, but here's the one time I saw the Arkestra with Ra, back in late September (29th?) of 1990.

I organized the whole thing, taking a decent-sized group of fellow college students with me (I was a Junior that fall) -- both a mini-van and a whole 'nother car-full (iirc), maybe about 11-12 of us total.  Was a 2.5+ hour drive up to Chicago from where I went to school at the time (Knox College).  And we drove back that same night after the second set (it was a LONG night -- I think we got home around 3am, maybe closer to 4am even).

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1990-10-01-9003210842-story.html

 

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