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The Eternal Myth Revealed: Volume One - Covering 1914-1959 Box set

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Editorial Reviews

(14-CD set)Thirteen hours of unreleased and ultra-rare music plus definitive Sun Ra autobiographical commentary, curated by Michael Anderson. Volume one covers the years 1914-1959, over 14 CDs plus a 128 page 5" x 10" paperback book, all contained in a large box.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Narration - Producer & Sun Ra Introduction, Pt. 1
  2. Narration - Production Introduction
  3. Message to Earth Man
  4. Narration - Producer & Sun Ra Introduction, Pt. 2
  5. Narration - Ruth Brown, Bobby Bland & Ray Charles Interviews: The Meani
  6. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: His Early History in Alabama
  7. Narration - The Early Blues Women 1924-1928
  8. Oh Daddy
  9. Booze & Blues
  10. Hole in the Wall
  11. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: His First Piano/Leading the School Band
  12. Narration - The Luis Russell Orchestra 1929
  13. Call of the Freaks
  14. Narration - The Don Redman Orchestra
  15. Chant of the Weed
  16. Narration - The Early Jazz Band Influences
  17. Just Rite
  18. Fat Man Blues
  19. Rhythm Spasm
  20. Narration - The Fletcher Henderson Influence, Pt. 1 - 1931
  21. Blue Rhythm
  22. Sugar Foot Stomp
  23. Narration - Coleman Hawkins Interview: Hawk Remembers Fletcher Henderso
  24. Narration - The Clarence William Band Records Sun Ra Composition 1933
  25. Chocolate Avenue
  26. Narration - The John Kirby Sextet 1939
  27. Anitra's Dance
  28. Opus #5
  29. Narration - The Coleman Hawkins Orchestra Influence 1940
  30. Chant of the Groove [Live] [Live]
  31. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Remembers How Musicians Used to Dress

Disc: 2

  1. Narration - Sun Ra in the Military October 1942
  2. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Sunny Remembers Fletcher Henderson
  3. Narration - The Fletcher Henderson Orchestra "Live" 1945
  4. Ernie Whitman & Fletcher Henderson Commentary
  5. You're Driving Me Crazy [Live] [Live]
  6. King Porter Stomp [Live]
  7. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Sunny Remembers Pianist Art Tatum
  8. Narration - The Art Tatum/Erroll Garner Influence
  9. Ernie Whitman - Art Tatum Introduction
  10. Song of the Vagabond [Live] [Live]
  11. Ernie Whitman - Erroll Garner Introduction
  12. Erroll's Bounce [Live] [Live]
  13. Narration - Swing "The War Years on Radio" 1943-1944
  14. Ernie Whitman Introduction
  15. Loose Wig [Live] [Live]
  16. Ernie Whitman - Jimmie Lunceford Introduction
  17. Little John [Live] [Live]
  18. Ernie Whitman - Benny Carter Introduction
  19. Cuttin' Time [Live] [Live]
  20. Russian Lullaby [Live] [Live]
  21. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Sunny Remembers His School Bands/Why He L
  22. Narration - Wynonie Harris w/the Jumpin' Jimmie Jackson Band 1946
  23. Dig This Boogie
  24. Lightnin' Struck the Poorhouse
  25. My Baby's Barrel House
  26. Drinkin' by Myself
  27. Narration - The Billy Eckstine Orchestra Influence 1944
  28. Ernie Whitman Introduction
  29. Air Mail Special [Live] [Live]
  30. Ernie Whitman Introduction
  31. Love Me or Leave Me [Live]
  32. Narration - The Dizzy Gillespie Big Band Influence 1946
  33. Minor Walk
  34. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Recalls Chicago in 1946: The Bands He Pla
  35. Narration - The Lil Green Orchestra 1946-1947
  36. Blowtop Blues
  37. No Good Man
  38. How Come You Do Me Like You Do
  39. Lonely Woman
  40. Narration - Blues Legend Willie Dixon: The Blues Influence

Disc: 3

  1. Narration - The Church Organ Recordings 1948
  2. All the Things You Are
  3. The Wind in the Trees
  4. Willow Weep for Me
  5. Narration - The Piano & Solovox Recordings 1948, Pt. 1 w/Stuff Smith
  6. Deep Purple
  7. Narration - Sun Ra Interview - Sunny Remembers Stuff Smith
  8. Narration - The Piano & Solovox Recordings 1948, Pt. 2
  9. Darn That Dream
  10. Yesterdays
  11. Narration - The Piano & Solovox Recordings 1948, Pt. 3
  12. If They Only Knew
  13. Narration - The Piano & Solovox Recordings 1948, Pt. 4
  14. The Darkness Within
  15. Narration - The Mary Lou Williams Composition Influence 1945
  16. Taurus
  17. Cancer
  18. Narration - The Sun Ra Solo Piano Recordings 1948: His Mary Lou William
  19. Ode to Mary Lou
  20. I've Got a Secret
  21. Something in Your Smile
  22. High Steppin'
  23. I've Got Some New Blues
  24. Narration - The Mary Lou Williams Big Band Arrangement Influence 1947
  25. Lonely Moments
  26. Whistle Blues
  27. Narration - Sunny and Jo Jo Adams 1947
  28. Narration - Junior Wells Interview: The Early Days of Chicago Blues
  29. Narration - Jo Jo Adams w/Tom Archia
  30. Love Me
  31. Drinkin' Blues
  32. If I Feel Like This Tomorrow
  33. Cryin' by My Window
  34. Narration - The 1948 Record Ban/Andrew Tibbs & the Dozier Boys 1948
  35. He's Got Her and Gone
  36. The Holidays Are Over
  37. Narration - The Dozier Boys w/the Sax Mallard Band 1948
  38. In a Travelin' Mood
  39. In Every Man's Life
  40. Narration - Bobby "Blue" Bland Interview: The Blues Are About Life

Disc: 4

  1. Narration - The Early Foundations of R&B Doo Wop
  2. Narration - The Dozier Boys w/the Eugene Wright Band
  3. Big Time Baby
  4. Pork-n-Beans
  5. Dawn Mist
  6. The Music Goes Down and Round
  7. Narration - Sun Ra & the Red Saunders Orchestra
  8. Trust in Me
  9. Synthesis
  10. Jitterbuggin'
  11. Legs Gettin' Bigger
  12. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Remembers Performing in Lexington, Indian
  13. Narration - The Sonny Blount Trio
  14. Upstairs
  15. Just One of Those Things
  16. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Sunny Speaks Highly of Vocalist Billie Ho
  17. Narration - Louis Armstrong Speaks of Billie Holiday / Lady Day - Yeste
  18. Narration - Sun Ra Sings & Plays Piano
  19. Smike
  20. Old Man River
  21. Sun Ra Song Introduction
  22. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  23. Out of Nowhere
  24. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Recalls His Band in Chicago & Alabama A&M
  25. Narration - The Chicago Blues Influence/Andrew Tibbs w/Leo Blevins Trio
  26. How Long
  27. I Know
  28. Narration - The Sonny Blount Trio "Live" 1949
  29. You Go to My Head [Live at Birdland] [Live]
  30. Blue Chicago Blues [Live at Birdland] [Live]
  31. Narration - Sugar Chile Robinson w/Red Saunders Orchestra 1950
  32. Bouncin' Ball Boogie
  33. I'll Eat My Spinach
  34. Narration - Dorothy Donegan 1950
  35. D.D.D.
  36. Ridin' the Boogie

Disc: 5

  1. Narration - The Red Saunders Orchestra w/Joe Williams #1 - 1950
  2. Blow Mr. Low Blow
  3. Chi
  4. Lyin' Girl Blues
  5. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: The Innovators & the Youth
  6. Narration - The Mary Lou Williams Jazz Organ & Piano Influence 1950
  7. Bye Bye Blues
  8. Narration - Andrew Tibbs w/Sax Mallard Sextet 1950
  9. You Can't Win
  10. Achin' Heart
  11. Narration - Sun Ra & the Unidentified Vocalist 1950
  12. Pennies from Heaven
  13. You and the Night and the Music
  14. Narration - Sun Ra Meets Alto Saxophonist John Jenkins 1950
  15. Cocktails for Two/Tenderly
  16. The Phantom
  17. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Hearing Legendary Blues & Jazz Bands
  18. Narration - Sun Ra & Lavern Baker aka Little Miss Sharecropper 1950
  19. Take Some Time Out
  20. I've Tried
  21. How Long
  22. I Want to Rock
  23. Narration - The Wilbur Ware/John Jenkins/Leo Blevins Rehearsals 1951, P
  24. The Nearness of You
  25. Sunny's Place #1
  26. Narration - The Wilbur Ware/John Jenkins/Leo Blevins Rehearsals 1951, P
  27. The Man I Love
  28. Sunny's Place #2
  29. Narration - The Sun Ra Mystery Clip
  30. All Alone

Disc: 6

  1. Narration - The Red Saunders Orchestra w/Joe Williams #2 - 1951
  2. Stop, Pretty Baby, Stop
  3. Weekday Blues
  4. 4am Blues [Instrumental] [Instrumental]
  5. Narration - The Red Saunders Orchestra w/Joe Williams #3 - 1951
  6. Last Night's Party
  7. Hey Bartender
  8. Boot 'Em Up [Instrumental] [Instrumental]
  9. Sugar Bounce
  10. Narration - The Red Saunders Orchestra w/June Davis 1951
  11. Gentle Lover
  12. J.D. Blues
  13. Narration - The Red Saunders Orchestra w/the Hambone Kids 1952
  14. Hambone
  15. Zekiel, Zekiel
  16. Piece of Puddin'
  17. Narration - The Red Saunders Orchestra 1952
  18. La Raspa [Instrumental] [Instrumental]
  19. Narration - The Paul Bascomb Band 1952
  20. Blues and the Beat
  21. Moreblues, More Beat
  22. Black Out
  23. Pink Cadillac
  24. Narration - Charlie Gonzales w/Red Holloway Band 1952
  25. Hi Yo Silver
  26. Such a Darn Fool Over You
  27. Hey Muscatel
  28. I'm Through with You
  29. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Building the Arkestra in Chicago/Pat Patr
  30. Wonderful You
  31. A Place in My Heart

Disc: 7

  1. Narration - The Afro-Cuban Influence - Machito 1951
  2. Symphony Sid Torin Announcement
  3. Carambola [Live at Birdland - New York] [Live]
  4. Symphony Sid Torin Announcement
  5. Picadillo [Live at Birdland - New York] [Live]
  6. Symphony Sid Torin Announcement
  7. Tango [Live at Birdland - New York] [Live]
  8. Narration - The Afro-Cuban Influence - Perez Prado 1947
  9. Saca la Mano
  10. Kuba Mambo
  11. Kandela
  12. Narration - The Afro-Cuban Influence on Sun Ra 1953: Sun Ra the Arrange
  13. Mambo in Trumpet
  14. Narration - The Red Saunders Orchestra w/Joe Williams #4 - 1953
  15. Honky Tonk Train Blues [Instrumental] [Instrumental]
  16. Probably
  17. Voodoo Blues
  18. Narration - The Gospel Influence on R&B Doo Wop
  19. Golden Gate Gospel Train
  20. Straighten Up and Fly Right [Live] [Live]
  21. Narration - Wilson Pickett & Aaron Neville Interviews: The Gospel Influ
  22. Our Father (The Lord's Prayer)
  23. Narration - The Swing Vocal Group Era - The Cats & the Fiddle 1939
  24. Mr. Rhythm Man
  25. Narration - The Doo Wop Influence - The Ink Spots 1944
  26. Ernie Whitman Ink Spots Introduction
  27. If I Didn't Care [Live] [Live]
  28. Narration - Johnny Otis Interview: How They Created Rhythm & Blues in t
  29. Narration - The Early Days of R&B Doo Wop, Pt. 1
  30. Narration - Wilson Pickett Interview: The Chitlin' Circuit

Disc: 8

  1. Narration - The Early Days of R&B Doo Wop, Pt. 2
  2. Blues Train
  3. You Ain't Gonna Worry Me
  4. Narration - The Parrotts w/Red Saunders Orchestra 1953
  5. Weep Weep Weep
  6. Don't Leave Me
  7. Narration - The Spaniels w/the Red Saunders Orchestra 1953, Pt. 1
  8. Since I Fell for You
  9. I've Got Some New Blues
  10. Narration - The Spaniels w/the Red Saunders Orchestra 1953, Pt. 2
  11. Bounce
  12. Honeysuckle Rose
  13. Narration - The Flamingos w/the Red Holloway Band 1953
  14. Golden Teardrops
  15. Perfidious Lover
  16. Narration - The Moonglows w/the Red Holloway Band 1953, Pt. 1
  17. My Love
  18. Bye Bye
  19. Narration - The Moonglows w/the Red Holloway Band 1953, Pt. 2
  20. Just a Lonely Christmas
  21. Hey Santa Claus
  22. Narration - The Pelicans w/Paul Bascomb & the Leo Blevins Trio? 1953
  23. White Cliffs of Dover
  24. I'm Glad You Love Me
  25. Narration - The Rockettes w/the Red Saunders Orchestra 1953
  26. Love Nobody
  27. I'm Through with You [Rehearsal] [Version]
  28. Narration - The 5 Thrills (the Earls) w/the Paul Bascomb Band 1954
  29. Laverne
  30. Dreaming
  31. Narration - The 5 Echoes w/the Al Smith Band 1954
  32. So Lonesome
  33. Broke
  34. That's My Baby
  35. Why Oh Why

Disc: 9

  1. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Sunny Remembers His Vocal Groups
  2. Narration - The Founding of Saturn & El Saturn Records 1954
  3. My Sweet [Rehearsal] [Version]
  4. My Land of Dreams [Rehearsal] [Version]
  5. Dreams Come True [Rehearsal] [Version]
  6. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Describes His Music as Being Far Ahead
  7. Narration - The 5 Chances (w/Clyde Williams)
  8. Nagasaki
  9. Make Love to Me
  10. Narration - The Flamingos w/the Al Smith Band 1954
  11. Dreams of a Lifetime
  12. Narration - The 5 Arrows w/the Paul Bascomb Band 1954
  13. You Got Me Losing My Mind
  14. Pretty Little Thing
  15. Narration - Walter Spriggs w/the Red Saunders Orchestra 1954
  16. I'm Not Your Fool Anymore
  17. Narration - The Rhythm Aces w/Red Saunders Orchestra 1954-1955
  18. I Wonder Why
  19. Whisper to Me
  20. Narration - The Maples w/the Von Freeman Band 1954
  21. 99 Guys
  22. Honeysuckle Rose
  23. Narration - The Fortunes w/Unknown Band 1955
  24. Love
  25. Bread
  26. Narration - The Early Sci-Fi Factuality Influence
  27. Narration - The Walter Dunn "Repeto" Studio Rehearsal & Session 1956
  28. I'll Close My Heart [Rehearsal] [Version]
  29. When You're in Love This Way [Rehearsal] [Version]
  30. Christina, Eugena, Maria [Studio] [Version]
  31. Perfidious Lover #2 [Studio] [Version]
  32. Narration - Hamp Jones 1957
  33. Pack Your Clothes
  34. Narration - Mel London w/Unknown Band 1957
  35. Man from the Island

Disc: 10

  1. Narration - The Serenaders 1957 W/Unknown Band
  2. The Pajama Game
  3. A Sinner in Love
  4. Narration - The Supreme "Live" w/Sun Ra & His Rays of Jazz 1958
  5. Everybody Mambo
  6. Narration - Odetta Interview: The Body Is the First Instrument
  7. Narration - Sun Ra & the Early Avant Garde Organ Recordings 1953, Pt. 1
  8. The Many Thoughts Of...
  9. The Inner Being
  10. The Haunted Melody
  11. Narration - Sun Ra & the Early Avant Garde Organ Recordings 1953, Pt. 2
  12. Pennies from Heaven
  13. You and the Night and the Music
  14. Narration - The Stan Kenton New Direction Influence
  15. Narration - Sun Ra - the Solo Piano Recordings, Pt. 1
  16. Ebb Tide
  17. Narration - Alberta Adams w/the Red Saunders Orchestra 1953
  18. Messin' with the Blues
  19. Remember
  20. Narration - Blues Vocalist Alberta Adams: Why She Sings the Blues
  21. Narration - Jo Jo Adams w/the Red Saunders Orchestra 1953
  22. Call My Baby
  23. Rebecca
  24. Narration - Sun Ra - The Solo Piano Recordings #2
  25. I Remember You
  26. The Best Things in Life Are Free
  27. Narration - Joe Williams w/the Red Saunders Orchestra 1953
  28. It's Raining Again
  29. On the Blue Side
  30. Detour Ahead
  31. Blow Mr. Low Blow [Remake] [Version]
  32. Narration - The Red Saunders Orchestra 1953
  33. Summertime
  34. Riverboat
  35. Lawdy Lucy
  36. Tired of Movin'

Disc: 11

  1. Narration - The Coleman Hawkins Parrot Recordings 1954, Pt. 1
  2. I'll Follow My Secret Heart
  3. What a Difference a Day Made
  4. September Song
  5. Narration - The Coleman Hawkins Parrot Recordings 1954, Pt. 2
  6. Blue Blue Days
  7. Flight Eleven
  8. Narration - The Paul Bascomb Parrot Recordings 1954, Pt. 1
  9. Jan Pts. 1-2
  10. Liza's Blues
  11. Narration - The Paul Bascomb Parrot Recordings 1954, Pt. 2
  12. Jumpin' at El Sino
  13. Alley B on Avenue C
  14. Narration - Sun Ra and the Vee Jay & Duke Labels 1954
  15. Narration - Grant Jones w/the King Kolax Band
  16. What Have You Done to Me
  17. Right Now
  18. Narration - The King Kolax Band
  19. Vivian
  20. Goodnite Blues
  21. Narration - Billy Brooks w/the Red Saunders Orchestra 1955
  22. Mambo Is Everywhere
  23. Songs of a Dreamer
  24. I Want Your Love Tonight
  25. This Is My Prayer
  26. Narration - The Early Sun Ra & Pat Patrick Rehearsals 1955: The Treasur
  27. Of This I Know [Take 1] [Take]
  28. Of This I Know [Take 2] [Take]
  29. When You're with the One You Love
  30. Darn That Dream

Disc: 12

  1. Narration - The Billie Hawkins Rehearsal 1956
  2. I'm Comin' Home [Rehearsal] [Version]
  3. Last Call for Love [Rehearsal] [Version]
  4. Kiss Me Sweet [Rehearsal] [Version]
  5. At Last [Rehearsal] [Version]
  6. Narration - The Billie Hawkins Heartbeat Recordings 1956
  7. I'm Comin' Home [Studio Version] [Version]
  8. Last Call for Love [Studio Version] [Version]
  9. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Teaching the Arkestra to Play Like Swing
  10. Narration - Sun Ra Respected by His Fellow Musicians - The Le Suny'r Ra
  11. Big City Blues
  12. Delilah
  13. Velvet
  14. Narration - The James Scales/Wilbut Green/Robert Barry Rehearsal 1956
  15. Somebody Else's World
  16. Blues in Outer Space
  17. Space Aura [Incomplete]
  18. Narration - Sun Ra Visits Planet Earth Session 1956 - Velvet
  19. Velvet [Take 1 - Track Ambience] [Take]
  20. Velvet [Take 2 - F/S] [Take]
  21. Velvet [Take 3 - F/S] [Take]
  22. Velvet [Take 4 - Complete Take] [Take]
  23. Narration - Ray Charles Interview: What It Means to Be a Good Singer
  24. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Clyde Williams
  25. Narration - Clyde Williams w/Sun Ra & His Arkestra 1956 - Dreams Come T
  26. Dreams Come True [Take 2 - Complete Take] [Take]
  27. Dreams Come True [Take 3 - F/S] [Take]
  28. Dreams Come True [Take 4 - Complete Take] [Take]
  29. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Dreams Come True (Closer)
  30. Narration - Clyde Williams w/ Sun Ra Arkestra "Live" 1958
  31. S'Wonderful
  32. Roll 'Em Pete
  33. My Funny Valentine [Added Track] [Version]

Disc: 13

  1. Narration - The Sun Ra Visits Planet Earth Session 1956, Pt. 1
  2. Eve [Take 1 - F/S] [Take]
  3. Eve [Complete Unedited Version] [Version]
  4. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Playing What People Need
  5. Narration - The Sun Ra Visits Planet Earth Session 1956 - El Viktor
  6. El Viktor [Take 1 - Complete Take] [Take]
  7. El Viktor [Take 2 - F/S] [Take]
  8. El Viktor [Take 3 - F/S] [Take]
  9. El Viktor [Take 4 - F/S] [Take]
  10. El Viktor [Take 5 - Master Take] [Take]
  11. Narration - The Hattie Randolph Bud Land Rehearsal 1957
  12. Don't Blame Me [Take 1] [Take]
  13. Hattie and Band Conversation
  14. Don't Blame Me [Take 2] [Take]
  15. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Why the Band Is Called the Arkestra
  16. Narration - The Calvin Newborn Bud Land Rehearsal 1957
  17. Blue Space
  18. Everything I Have is Yours
  19. Narration - The Sun Ra Poetry Recordings 1948-1982
  20. Narration - The Pershing Ballroom All-Star Jam 1958
  21. Chi-Town Blues
  22. Just You, Just Me
  23. I Can't Get Started [Added Track] [Version]
  24. Don't Blame Me [Added Track] [Version]

Disc: 14

  1. Narration - The 1958 Yochanan Recordings
  2. Narration - Sun Ra & His Arkestra Live at Bud Land 1958: The John Gilmo
  3. Just One of Those Things
  4. Sophisticated Blues
  5. Will You Still Be Mine
  6. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Having Discipline in His Band
  7. Narration - Sun Ra & the Arkestra Play Pop Hits 1958 - Tequila
  8. Tequila/End of Set Theme
  9. Narration - Sun Ra & Hattie Randolph - 'Round Midnight 1959
  10. 'Round Midnight [Mono Take 1 - F/S] [Take]
  11. 'Round Midnight [Mono Take 2 - F/S] [Take]
  12. 'Round Midnight [Mono Take 3 - Master Take] [Take]
  13. Narration - Hattie Randolph with the Arkestra: Live at the Jazz Showcas
  14. Don't Blame Me
  15. Narration - Sun Ra Interview: Playing Another Kind of Music
  16. Narration - Producer Michael D. Anderson - Closing Comments
  17. Narration - Sun Ra - Closing Comments Collage
  18. End Theme Music - Discipline


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 4, 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: #338,551 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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The Eternal Myth Revealed: Volume One - Covering 1914-1959
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