A great book that looks not just at the music of Sun Ra
, but also the theory behind it – the special take on reality, and interstellar philosophy that made Ra
as important a thinker as he was a musician! The music is approached from a theoretical framework that's extremely illuminating – especially if you only know some of the Arkestra
records at face value, and not in the larger context of Sun Ra
's ideas – and the author includes plenty of history to illuminate the ideas, but in ways that are nicely different than some of the previous books on the subject. The whole thing is a really great look at the transformative power of the music of Ra
– that quality that's always made him far more than just another avant jazz musician, and instead a figure of inspiration and social change to decades of listeners who have followed his
sound. Very well researched, with copious notes. Paperback, 372 pages.