Hear Sun Ra’s Previously-Unreleased Solo Piano Performance at WKCR

A deeply intimate set from the Arkestra-less archive.

Though he slipped into stardust almost 30 years ago, Sun Ra‘s catalog has been growing by the month.

READ: Red Bull Music Festival LA 2019: Sun Ra’s Arkestra Soundtracks His 45-Year-Old Film Space Is The Place Live

Earlier this year, a pair of previously unreleased albums, Pathways to Unknown Worlds and Monorails and Satellites, landed like anvils launched from one of Saturn’s rings. And this week, another collection of long-dormant material has made its way. Only this time, it’s just the Arkestral conductor and some ivory.

READ: Sun Ra’s Interstellar Influence is Explored in a New Museum Installation

Performed at Columbia University’s legendary WKCR in 1977 (well before Stretch and Bobbito got their hands on the programming,) Solo Piano offers a rare glimpse at a paired-down Sun sans massive ensemble and/or electronics. Save for a few vocal embellishments from John Gilmore and June Tyson in the background, it is one of the only known recordings of Sun all by his lonesome on an analog piano (his first instrument,) from this period of his career.

Hear Sun Ra’s Solo Piano at WKCR below. Hold tight for the next transmission.


Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

Published by
Tags: Sun-Ra

Recent Posts

Chris Rock Explains Why Arresting Donald Trump Would Be Like “Arresting Tupac”

During Adam Sandler's acceptance of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Chris Rock rifted… Read More

March 22, 2023

Sly Stone Announces Memoir Via Questlove’s New Publishing Imprint

Music legend Sly Stone has announced a new memoir co-authored by Ben Greenman, titled Thank… Read More

March 22, 2023

Seven of the Best Black-Owned Cocktail Bars in NYC

One of NYC’s first Black-owned cocktail bars opened in the 1840s. Now, a handful exist,… Read More

March 22, 2023

LaKeith Smith Gets Resentence After Being Convicted For Police Killing His Friend

LaKeith Smith, an Alabama man who was 15 when a police officer shot and killed… Read More

March 22, 2023

Behind the Beat: How Heatmakerz & the Diplomats Reenergized “Gangsta Music” on “Dipset Anthem”

With “Dipset Anthem”, the Diplomats created an immortal song, which restored pride in Harlem’s rap… Read More

March 22, 2023

Here’s What Chris Tucker Said About Returning to the ‘Friday’ Franchise

While promoting his new film Air, Chris Tucker went to Audacy's V-103 to discuss Friday, a… Read More

March 21, 2023