Sun Ra Centennial Arkestra to Release Live Album

Performance documents 2014 tour

The Sun Ra Arkestra performing in the streets of Istanbul in 1990 image 0

The Sun Ra Arkestra performing in the streets of Istanbul in 1990

The Sun Ra Centennial Arkestra, under the direction of Marshall Allen, will release Live at the Babylon (In+Out Records, Sept. 4), the only live recording from the group’s 2014 Centennial Dream Arkestra tour. The album was recorded at Istanbul’s Babylon music club, marking the hundredth birthday of the Arkestra’s founder, Sun Ra.

According to a press release, Live at the Babylon is “an aural illustration of the enthusiasm of the brothers Mehmet and Ahmet Uluğ,” two “tenacious Sun Ra fans … who wanted to bring the Sun Ra Arkestra to Istanbul for the first time since 1990.” The pair drove the band on a flatbed trailer down the arterial road to Taksim Square and the nearby concert hall they had booked. “The unusual promotion campaign drew thousands of curious spectators,” the release reports. “Sun Ra’s blessing turned out to be fruitful with the concert being a great success. In consequence, the Uluğ brothers founded the music promotion enterprise Pozitif and later on the Babylon. An Istanbul myth had come to life. Therefore, this CD/DVD special edition is dedicated to the late Mehmet Uluğ, whose untimely death occurred in 2012.”