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Sun Ra Visits Planet Earth

by Sun Ra & His Solar Arkestra

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Eve 05:51
Two Tones 03:40
El Viktor 02:30
Saturn 03:53


Sun Ra Visits Planet Earth was compiled from two studio sessions recorded from 1956 to 1958. Befitting the title, the A side of the LP presented a mystic travelogue in which the band descended on “Planet Earth,” time-traveled to the Garden of Eden to encounter “Eve,” and then zoomed to the Far East to explore "Overtones Of China."

The side B tracks were recorded in 1956 and represent some of the first Arkestra sessions, showcasing Sun Ra's emerging Hard Bop Space Book. These sessions were produced by Tom Wilson for his Transition label, and many tracks were issued in 1968 under the album title Sound of Joy by Delmark. Planet Earth, which coupled tracks from the two unrelated sessions, was commercially released on Ra's Saturn label in 1966.

Planet Earth's title track is a different take than on Sound of Joy, and appears here for the first time in stereo. "Overtones of China" is a radically different (and longer) arrangement than the Sound of Joy version. "El Viktor," "Two Tones," and "Reflections in Blue" are the same takes as on Sound of Joy, but Planet Earth's 2014 digital transfers from the master tape offer greater clarity and higher fidelity. Planet Earth's "Saturn" is eight seconds shorter than on Sound of Joy because on the Delmark reissue, the tape machine ran noticeably slow, causing pitch problems. These flaws were avoided for this digital release. Before its inclusion on Planet Earth, "Eve" had not previously been released, but dates from the Wilson sessions.

– I.C.


released June 8, 2015

2014, Enterplanetary Koncepts
All tracks produced by Sun Ra
All titles composed by Sun Ra © Enterplanetary Koncepts (BMI)

Tracks 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 probably recorded at Universal Recording, Chicago, 1956
Tracks 1 and 3 recorded late 1957 or early 1958, Chicago

Sun Ra: piano, solar electric piano, Egyptian Sun Bells, Chinese Solar Gong
John Gilmore: tenor sax (1, 4, 7), Solar Bells (1), tambourine (1), solar drum (3)
Pat Patrick: alto sax (2), baritone sax (5, 7), Rhodesian Bells (1), solar drum (1, 2), Space Lute (3)
Lucious Randolph: trumpet (1)
Dave Young: trumpet (7)
James Spaulding: alto sax (1)
Marshall Allen: flute (1, 3)
Nate Pryor: trombone
Jim Herndon: timbali (1, 2, 3, 6), tympani (1, 3, 4, 6), boo-bams (2)
Art Hoyle: trumpet (4, 6, 7)
Charles Davis: baritone sax (4, 5)
Victor Sproles: bass (2, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Ronnie Boykins: bass (1, 3)
William Cochran: drums (2, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Robert Barry: drums (1, 3)

Tape transfers by Michael D. Anderson of the Sun Ra Music Archive
Digital restoration by Michael D. Anderson and Irwin Chusid

Issued under license from Sun Ra LLC


all rights reserved



Sun Ra New York, New York

A Helpful Guide to the Many Sun Ra Albums on Bandcamp: daily.bandcamp.com/2017/10/13/sun-ra-album-guide
The foremost figure in musical Afro-futurism and space-jazz. Keyboardist, composer, Arkestra leader, arranger, philosopher-jester, fashion icon, cosmic guide. Born Herman Blount in Alabama, 1914, left the planet in 1993, giving Earthlings a monumental catalog of recordings that transcend genre. ... more

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