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Sun Ra (1914-1993)

Sun Ra (Born Herman Poole Blount; legal name Le Sony'r Sun Ra; born May 22, 1914 in Birmingham, Alabama, died May 30, 1993 in Birmingham, Alabama) was an innovative jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, poet and philosopher known for his "cosmic philosophy", musical compositions and performances.

from ' Space Is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra', by John F Swzed:
He lived a life that was immersed in music, forgoing women, drink, drugs and any other distractions, being a vegetarian (well before the sixties) and a pacifist (dating from the Second World War).

from an article about 'Pat Patrick, a talented sax player who traveled the world with the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra':

Sun Ra demanded an unwavering commitment from his musicians. Members of the Arkestra, which ranged from half a dozen to 30, were forbidden to do drugs and discouraged from drinking and even having girlfriends. In the 1960s, the main players, including Pat , lived in a house in the East Village known as the Sun Palace. In 1968, they moved to a tired Philadelphia row house where Sun Ra dished out directives along with steaming bowls of his vegetarian "Moon Stew." Rehearsals in the cramped living room were relentless and sometimes began before dawn. Pat greatly admired Sun Ra's discipline and cosmic Afrocentric philosophy.

from 'As Serious as Yout Life - the story of the new jazz' by Valerie Wilmer, 1977:

He develops involved philosophies and explanations for everything. For example, at one time he frequently lectured the band on the nutritional value of the humble turtle-bean - according to one follower's lady, this was because it was the cheapest protein source available and times were lean. The musicians, however, spoke almost in awe of the bean's untold properties. Sun Ra succeeded in keeping their stomachs full and the Arkestra intact.


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