July 11, 2014 – 5:41 am

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Columbus 1985 [no label, 3CD]

Live at Stache’s, Columbus, OH; January 5, 1985. Very good soundboard and audience mix.

Thanks to original uploader boatini; carville and northjersey for keeping the show alive at Dime.

Uploader’s notes:

This if from the original tape, sort of recorded in stereo, with one channel off the soundboard and the other from a mic over the stage. There’s occasionally a little microphone distortion, but on the main, the fidelity is excellent, much better than most Saturn releases. This was Sun Ra’s first Columbus appearance. This recording is from the second day of sold-out shows. I had one of the best times of my life, not having had the chance to see the Arkestra for about five years.

A lot of people don’t care so much for this era, but I think the music selection here is the greatest, a combination of Space Chants, Space Chords, out there, swing, and pop tunes. They sing the semi-inane ’30s song, “I Want to be Happy”, over and over again, for almost 10 minutes, and it’s extremely invigorating. This would be a good introduction for the uninitiated to the whole magic world of Sun Ra.

About five years ago I sent copies of the tapes to Ra expert Chris Trent, who then sent them to Ra discographer Robert Campbell.  They were able to discern the personnel and name the songs.

They also sent me these comments, which may be of interest to some of you:

There is wavery distortion on the piano, which seems to have been badly overmiked, but the sound quality is better than on the January 4 tapes.

Points of interest include some of June Tyson’s best singing from the ’80s. She is in great form on “A Lost Horizon” and “Tapestry from an Asteroid” - we may have her best recorded performance of “Tapestry” here.

The piece before “Say It Isn’t So” remains an enigma. It isn’t “East of Uz” and it isn’t Ellington’s “Ko-Ko.” Whatever it is, John plays three excellent choruses on it. “Say It Isn’t So” is a tune that Sunny rarely called; here it has first-rate piano, a vocal from John, and a nice flugel solo by Al Evans. John is on for “Drop Me off in Harlem” (four choruses). “The Place of Five Points” has some striding from Sunny and a subtone coda by Marshall on alto.

In the second set, John plays his butt off on “Sophisticated Lady” (unfortunately, the end of his solo is lost in the tape turnover). There is a really strong purely instrumental version of “Christopher Columbus” that runs eight minutes and features an OK solo by Al Evans and another blazer from John. This is the last known occasion that Sunny called “Smile” on the bandstand, probably because June lost the ability to sing it. On this occasion, she doesn’t get hoarse on “What’s the USE of crying,” as she did on the September 1982 studio recording. John has a beautiful chorus.

Keep traveling the Spaceways,
Robert L Campbell

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Front cover by rem2rigs, modified here - Thanks!

First gen cassette > CD Wave Editor > Creative Wave Studio (for fades) > Wave Joiner (for Sophisticated Lady) > Flac

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1
Set 1
Track 101. untitled improvisation/Door Of The Cosmos [tp, eb; perc; eg; ob, eb; eb, perc;tb; EVI; tb; EVI; eb; as, bcl, bs coda] 14:46 (24.8MB)
Track 102. A Lost Horizon Ra) [JT, ens voc]/untitled improvisation [d solo; eb, d duet only] 6:38 (11.1MB)
Track 103. untitled improvisation [ens riffs]/Tapestry From An Asteroid (Ra) [JT, ens voc]/(The World Is Waiting) For The Sunrise (Ra) [JT, ens voc] 4:40 (7.8MB)
Track 104. Discipline 27-II (Ra)/Calling Planet Earth (Ra)/Sea of Immortality (Ra)/This World Is Not My Home (Ra)/Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child (trad)/I’ll Wait for You (Ra) [SR, ens voc] 6:16 (10.5MB)
Track 105. Nuclear War (Ra) [SR, ens voc] 5:29 (9.2MB)
Track 106. unidentified blues [p; riffs; eb; p; riffs; (fade out) 6:48 (11.4MB)
Track 107. Prelude To A Kiss (Ellington) 5:01 (8.4MB)
Track 108. unidentified swing piece (Ra) 8:00 (13.5MB)
Track 109. Say It Isn’t So (Berlin) [JG voc] 5:49 (9.8MB)
64 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. Drop Me Off In Harlem (Ellington) 6:21 (10.7MB)
Track 202. The Place Of Five Points (Ra) 6:31 (10.9MB)
Track 203. Mack The Knife (Brecht-Weill-Blitzstein) [JJ voc; SR, JJ voc] 8:04 (13.6MB)
Track 204. Space Is The Place (Ra) [JT, ens voc]/We Travel The Spaceways (Ra) [SR, ens voc] (fade out) 4:21 (7.3MB)

Set 2
Track 205. (fade in) Never Never Land (Ra) [JT, ens voc]/untitled improvisation [Allen, EVI; Infinity Drum] 6:11 (10.4MB)
Track 206. When There Is No Sun (Ra) [JT, JG, ens voc]/untitled improvisation [cond ens; Allen, as; Omoe, contra-alto cl joins in; Thompson, bs joins]/untitled improvisation [eb; cond ens; Gilmore, ts] 11:23 (19.1MB)
Track 207. I Want To Be Happy (Caesar-Youmans) [JG, TH, JJ voc; JJ, TH, JT voc; JJ voc; JT, SR voc] 9:34 (16.1MB)
Track 208. I’m Gonna Unmask The Batman (Gibson-Abraham) [SR, ens voc] 7:56 (13.3MB)
61 mins

Disc 3
Track 301. East Of The Sun (Bowman) [JG voc] 5:15 (8.8MB)
Track 302. Sophisticated Lady (Ellington) (fades out and in at 4:11 due to tape flip) 5:22 (9.0MB)
Track 303. Cocktails For Two (Coslow-Johnston) [p, Allen, as, eb, d only] 4:16 (7.2MB)
Track 304. Over The Rainbow (Arlen-Harburg) [p only] 4:56 (8.3MB)
Track 305. Christopher Columbus (Razaf-Berry) 8:59 (15.1MB)
Track 306. Smile (Chaplin) [JT voc] 6:47 (11.4MB)
Track 307. Limehouse Blues (Braham-Furber) 3:10 (5.3MB)
Track 308. Sunset On The Nile (Ra) [SR voc] 14:48 (fade out) 14:49 (24.9MB)
54 mins

Sun Ra (p, syn, voc)
Al Evans (flg)
Tyrone Hill (tb, voc)
Marshall Allen (as, fl, EVI, perc)
John Gilmore (ts, cl, timb, voc)
Eloe Omoe (as, bcl, contra-alto cl, perc)
Danny Ray Thompson (bs, as, fl, bgo)
James Jacson (bsn, fl, Ancient Egyptian Infinity Drum, voc)
Rollo Radford (eb)
Avreeayl Ra Amen (d)
unidentified (cga)
June Tyson (voc, dance)
unidentified (tp)
unidentified female (dance, voc)

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  1. 6 Responses to “SUN RA - COLUMBUS 1985”

  2. A very curious thing is going on here.
    Over on the Steve Stills page the show that was available earlier has been pulled by his people. Here, we have a far superior sounding and musically inclined show by a performer ,Sun Ra,[ who probably never made as much money in his lifetime that mr.stills made in one year ]that will be made available probably forever. That does say something , doesn`t it.

    By sluggo on Jul 11, 2014

  3. Thanks again Big O. Outstanding effort from you to keep this giant respected.
    The SUN rises every day.
    Music of Eternity while the Cosmos hums along.

    By largo al on Jul 11, 2014

  4. hey bigo, many thanks!!! i just downloaded the last six tracks i needed. for some reason, disc 3 on my notes starts at cocktails for two on your disc 3. disc 2 ends with sophisticated lady. i got the other two discs out and doubled checked it, and i now i have the complete show. i do appreciate it.

    there’s one more night before this in columbus at the same venue. i have it too. i think, i have most of the ra’s in circulation. i’d love to have all three nights he played at the chukker in tuscaloosa, al, if they’re out there. he also played at city stages in b’ham, al 1989 either the night before or after southern danceworks that you have already offered. one more b’ham show he played was at grundies. i don’t know if those are circulating.


    By Ed Saad on Jul 11, 2014

  5. hurrah for the sunny, big-O!


    By I-) on Jul 12, 2014

  6. I was very pleased to find this, I was at the show in Columbus in 1985 and it was an unforgettable experience.

    I am pretty sure that Pat Patrick was there as well.


    By andrew swift on Jul 16, 2014

  7. Pat Patrick was DEFINITELY there.

    That’s him on baritone sax on Space in the Place.

    By andrew Swift on Jul 16, 2014

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