Bernard Stollman, founder of the influential, otherworldly ESP-Disk label, has passed away this week at 85. New York Times obituary. The independent label was home to blazing, provocative recordings from avant-jazz greats like Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, and Sun Ra, as well as underground rock outsiders like the Godz, the Holy Modal Rounders, and the Fugs. The label's discography is deep, strange, and still largely unexplored by everyone but hardcore music geeks (who tend to be highly passionate about it). From Stereogum: Remembering Bernard Stollman: 10 Essential ESP-Disk Albums.
Texas Monthly profiles Tom Wilson, a Harvard-educated Republican from Waco who helped launch the careers of Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Lou Reed, and a few other musicians you might have heard of. Previously.
In 1974, Sun Ra and his Arkestra released a film. In which he plays cards with a pimp and travels through space and time. There is social commentary. And music. He also made an album with the same name. [more inside]
Sounds from Tomorrow's World: Sun Ra and the Chicago Years, 1946-1961 is an exhibition drawn from the collections of the University of Chicago's Chicago Jazz Archive.
Brother from Another Planet (Pts. 2, 3, and 4) is a documentary about Sun Ra and his Arkestra(s) on YT. It features interviews with Archie Shepp, Amiri Baraka, John Sinclair, and several members of the Arkestra as well as several live clips and scenes from the 1974 movie Space is the Place. (previously) [more inside]
In 1966 the Tifton Record Company's efforts to cash in on the popularity of the Batman TV show resulted in the release of an LP called Batman and Robin. Though the jacket credited “The Sensational Guitars of Dan and Dale”, the musicians were in fact members of Sun Ra’s Solar Arkestra and The Blues Project. The wonderful folks at WFMU have made this unlikely collaboration's wonderfully infectious music available for your downloading pleasure. Very fun, lively stuff, with a warm and rollicking sound. I've fallen in love with it.