Great news in for the mighty Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of the maestro Marshall Allen. They have enjoyed a unique 60-year journey in jazz but have finally been nominated for a Grammy for the very first time in the band’s history for their album ‘Swirling’ on Strut in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category. Recorded in Spring 2019 pre-pandemic and released in October 2020, the album was recorded at Rittenhouse Soundworks in Philadelphia and was the Arkestra’s first new studio recording to emerge in over 20 years, capturing them at the peak of their powers. Tracks included new arrangements of ‘Seductive Fantasy’, ‘Rocket No. 9’ and ‘Queer Notions’ and the first studio recording of the Allen-composed title track. Now aged 97, Marshall Allen continues to lead the Arkestra in keeping alive Sun Ra’s music and message. Wishing him and the Arkestra the very best of luck at the awards themselves which take place at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on 31st January 2022.
“An affirmation of how vital the band remains under the direction of Marshall Allen.” New York Times
“An inspired tribute to the master. Challenging but intoxicating.” The Guardian
“The Sun Ra Arkestra’s first new release for more than two decades is a total joy”(The Wire, November issue)
“Demonstrates the Arkestra’s ongoing merit, adding a new layer of nuance and delight to its vaunted and accruing legacy.”The Quietus
“Glorious. New arrangements from Sun Ra’s voluminous songbook are revived and re-energised.”Jazzwise