Sounds of Space

Ep:2 Sun Ra - Cosmic Jazz

March 09, 2022 Chris Bass Season 1 Episode 2
Sounds of Space
Ep:2 Sun Ra - Cosmic Jazz
Show Notes

Sun Ra - the Alpha and Omega of Space Music! Greetings …I’m Chris Bass a music producer and renowned Spaceologist and in episode two we examine the music of Sun Ra, bandleader, keyboardist, arranger, philosopher, artist and educator.

Hailing from the planet of Saturn, Sun-Ra aka Herman Poole ‘Sunny’ Blount, took keyboard playing into new dimensions and changed music forever. The players in his Arkestra (his big band for over forty years) followed Sun’s lead creating forms of Cosmic Jazz that inspired almost every other creator of Space Music that came afterwards. 

The Arkestra's saxophonists John Gilmore and Marshall Allen pushed the sonic boundaries of what was possible with a wind instrument. In fact Gilmore was cited by John Coltrane as his biggest influence…and most folks would agree that Coltrane totally reinvented the modern day concept of the instrument solo.

In this episode we look at

  • Ra’s beginnings
  • The ways that the Arkestra evoked Outer Space via acoustic means.
  • Sun Ra’s Electronic Keyboard Cosmos
  • Sun’s move into the land of the synthesiser
  • The Arkestra’s cosmic playing techniques
  • Cosmic Sound Effects - how Sun travelled further into the galaxy via the studio.
  • A break down of how I applied these techniques to create Cosmic Jazz

…and the episode finishes with my first release for Sounds of Space the Sun Ra Cosmic Jazz tribute…They Fell From the Skies.

Whether you’re a music lover, space-fanatic, musician or producer or just need a new creative perspective blast off with me on a fantastic journey as we explore the musical universe of artists who sonically evoke Outer Space and Sci-Fi Futurism in popular music with SOUND.

Episode Links

They Fell from the Skies available at

Another Ra tribute - Ra Transmigration  -

Space is the Place by John Szwed - one of the most definitive books on Sun-Ra and the best source of ‘behind-the-scenes’ information -

The Temple - A fantastic online Discography of the works of Sun Ra -

Sun Ra Music - Bandcamp - The Official digital music site of Sun Ra -

Sun-Ra - Spotify - If you insist on streaming…well…here it is -

A wonderful 53 minute NPR Jazz Profile of Sun-Ra -