There have been many writings and recordings concerning jazz innovator Sun Ra. But even the most respected scholars on the topic can't really hold a candle to Millbrae's John and Peter Hinds, publishers of the Sun Ra Research books and zines and curators of more than 400 hours of audio, video, and interview footage with Saturn's late, great bandleader. For nearly a decade until his death in 1993, Sun Ra served as an unlikely mentor and even father figure to the Hinds brothers. A prelude to a painstaking DVD project that's underway, Sun Ra Research CD Two puts the listener in the room as John and Peter ask questions of Ra and such principal Sun Ra Arkestra members as John Gilmore and Marshall Allen. The disc also captures songs and snippets from both concerts and behind the scenes. It's difficult to judge which is more satisfying: the musical bits, including improvised interludes from Ra's trusty Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer and a fantastic live version of his signature cut “Mystery,” or the equally impromptu flashes of conversation that reveal his views on freedom, race, and how his art was received.
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