SUN RA "Stockholm 1971" CD
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In the fall of 1971, the Arkestra embarked on their second European tour, this time enlarged to twenty-two musicians, two singers, six dancers along with Sun Ra himself. Once again, the itinerary was haphazardly arranged, with gigs spread far and wide and lack of money would cause many of the newcomers to abandon the tour along the way (see Szwed pp.286-287). Curiously, while Ronnie Boykins had returned to the fold and is clearly present on the rehearsal tape recorded just days before their departure, he did not make the trip to Europe. In fact, there was no bass player at all on this tour, except when Pat Patrick would put down his baritone sax and pick up the Fender electric bass on a few tunes. Nevertheless, when a gargantuan Arkestra took the stage on October 12 at Sweden’s prestigious Royal Dramatic Theatre (a/k/a Dramaten) in Stockholm, they were clearly energized and inspired by the lavish surroundings. In another measure of how well Sun Ra was treated in Europe, the state-run radio station broadcast sixty minutes of the performance, a copy of which circulates amongst collectors. Thank you, Sweden!