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The Eternal Myth Revealed: Volume One - Covering 1933-1959 [Box set]

Sun Ra Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Price: $91.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 4, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 14
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Transparency
  • ASIN: B004ZNNUD2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,773 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

(14-CDs plus 128 page 5'' x 10'' paperback book) The first box set collaboration between Transparency and Michael D. Anderson of The Sun Ra Music Archive features nearly 17 hours of unreleased and ultra-rare studio and live music plus definitive Sun Ra spoken autobiographical commentary. Fifty sides from 78-rpm records were recently transferred for this project at Rutgers University. The sound quality on every track is perfect.

Part One examines Sun Ra's early 1920s Blues Vocal and 1930s Big Band influences, his first recordings in 1946 as a piano sideman, his arrangements and compositions, Sun Ra as a singer in the late 1940s, his trio in 1949, creating the sound for vocalists Laverne Baker and Joe Williams, coaching The Hambone Kids in 1952 and the late 1940s Afro-Cuban influences of band leader Perez Prado and other rare facts and musically unheard inclusions.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History, Saturn style November 16, 2011
What a remarkable historical document! This box set revelas Sun Ra's musical odyssey, his earliest arrangements and sideman appearances, solo appearances, live Arkestra appearances, and interviews with Sun Ra and associates, and narration that adds information and context, on fourteen discs with an informative booklet.

I have nearly every Transparency release and pre-ordered this many months ago (and at a cheaper price than the released price). This was well worth the wait. A ground-breaking, unique release. No, it's not fourteen cds of unreleased Sun Ra music. It's an overview of the earliest years of Ra's career, and it's been an educational addition to my Sun Ra collection. Thanks to all involved!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than just rare tracks of Sun Ra December 15, 2011
Sun Ra's place in the evolution of jazz can be very easily lost or misunderstood, especially considering how much of Sunny's music occupies the fringes of what most people think of when they think about 'jazz.'

This box set puts it all into perspective. It's not just a collection of rare Sun Ra tracks, although there are rare tracks a-plenty (check the blogs if you want out-of-print albums). Rather, the Eternal Myth Revealed is something closer to an audiobook using music for its illustrations. With the narrator as your guide between songs, you trace the path of Sun Ra's career. The songs are a combination of Sun Ra's original compositions, rehearsal tapes, home recordings, as well as tracks by other groups that are relevant to the discussion of Sun Ra's music, such as tracks that Sun Ra wrote or arranged for other groups or tracks that are similar in style and were his inspirations. In this way, you learn what was happening in jazz at the time being discussed, and you see how Sun Ra fit into it.

As a companion piece, I recommend reading the book 'Black Music' by Amiri Baraka. It features previously published music journalism and jazz criticism from the Apple Cores column of DownBeat Magazine. Baraka is a terrific jazz critic as well as a serious jazz fan, and his words about Sun Ra's total sound environment and unique conceptual approach to music are enlightening and entertaining.

As a final word, the liner notes of this set are filled with important information about each track. Follow the audio narration for plenty of what would usually be contained in a box set's accompanying book. I think it's well worth the money, even a bargain.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STOP,LOOK,LISTEN!!!!! November 18, 2011
ATTATION: THIS BOX SET IS FOR SUN RA COMPLETEIST AND MUSIC HISTORYIANS. If you are a more mainstream music listener, try sun Ra's music on the evandance lable.That being said this box is a dream. Ive waited 30 years to hear the early chess sides (1948) I played a littl bit with the late Paul Bascolmb and dident know that they were at least 12 Ra realeted sides. A must for the person who loves 40's and 50's chicago jazz. THis box gives the TRUE spirit of Sonny.
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By pilastr
This is a gift to the world, present and future. The narration is substantive, poised, inspiring, funny, very well researched and deeply contextualized. And the music discovered here, wow! The experience of hearing and re-hearing this has bowled me over. It's also pulled my wife into a deeper, mutual fascination with the history, aesthetic, and philosophy of Sun Ra and the Arkestra. Block out some time on your calendar, this isn't going to be background listening.
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12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars For die-hard fans only October 28, 2011
By NYC mom
I love Sun Ra, but this set was a huge disappointment. The production value is poor (it is handmade and appears that way; it looks cheap and photocopied). The booklet is white-on-black and difficult to read. The CDs have very little of Sun Ra's music, but contains mostly music he was influenced by (e.g. Fletcher Henderson, etc.). The narrations and interviews between the music (a lot of narrative and interviews) make for difficult and laborious work. This set is really not a pleasure to listen to. They should have instead put all the interviews at the end on one CD. This set is not worth its cost; nearly anything else Sun Ra recorded would be a better choice. It does show his intellectual and artistic development and is important for that, but in terms of listening and enjoying, I give it a zero. Buyer beware.
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