Sunday, August 31, 2014

Space Is the Place! Sun Ra's Arkestra at the Chicago JaZZ..Festival…Light year: Twenty Fourteen

We Traveled the Spaceways…
from Planet to Planet  
2 Blast from the past ..Past Saturn N2 the Future..
     with SUN RA's Arkestra!

So on my last day of my musical  FUTURE FUNK….  before summer's end…I traveled the Spaceways to celebrate Sun Ra's 100th year…and the music that he left us on this Third Planet..
After the death of the  luminous and cosmic Sun Ra at age 79… in 1993, …the Arkestra has been led by Alto saxophonist, Marshall Allen, who at age 90...has been in the band for over half a century..for 56 years.  
We went 2 listen 2 Ra's Arkestra dressed in Cosmic colorful their interplanetary  music!
The setting: 
The Chicago Jazz Festival 
in the Spaceship of the 
Jay Pritzer Pavilion in Millennium ParK!
A playful Big Band romp of Interplanetary funkiness! 
The SOUND:  
A Blast from the Past…
ala  Bandleader,Fletcher Henderson 
and Sun Ra's arrangements from that time
Fast Forward... 2 the 21st Century
Black 2 the AfroFuturistic..
 Horns,vocals and implodes n2 a cacophony of rhythms and musical lines…

Mix that with the sound and spice of  some exotic instruments  
…possibly an urdu, thermion and percussion …  
the sound morphs 
N2 Ra's Arkestral Remix!
Sun Ra and his band from  Outer Space… 
have entertained you here!
Sun Ra and his band from  Outer Space… 
have entertained you here!
Space Is the Place! Space Is the Place! 
Space Is the Place! YEA! Space Is the Place!
Space Is the Place! Space Is the Place!
Space Is the Place! YEA! Space Is the Place
The pianist hailed ChicagO as the Home of Blues… and said "there's NO WAY that the Arkestra could come to ChicaGO and NOT play some Blues!"♫♪♬♫♫♪♬♫♫♪♫♪♬♫♫♪♬♫ 

Then he proceeded to break out into a funky..funky Blues that was very traditional with some swing and a lil bit of some stride piano… 
and then he rolled out  some down and dirty Blues figures that got right into the soul.  
This Cosmic Blues also had  some Neon colors and voicings….woven into the groove.

Space Is the Place! Space Is the Place! 
Space Is the Place!  Yea!
Space Is the Place!
There's No Limit! Take your First Step! 
Way Outer Space!
Walk on Jupiter! Walk on Mars!
 Tyler Mitchell is a  well known touring Bassist  who is originally from Chicago  and now lives on the east coast….. was HOME!!
 ... and zooming on his upright bass! 
Tyler has been traveling and performing with Sun Ra's Arkestra on tour for several years now. Tyler is  also the son of Mural artist and painter, the late, Mitchell Katon.

 Chicago bassist, Rollo was in a zone on stage 
Holding down the boom, boom,pow!…. in the Arkestra! 
 Pianist-Composer Aki Antonia 
I could even feel RA's  energies and flow in my own works…as a musician…because  within a solo… I  have been known 2 leave Earth for a minute and go "OUTSIDE" the straight harmonies while choosing 2 astral travel 2 another galaxy….4 a few bars….♬♫♪♬♬♫♪♬!!!!!!!

"The fun part is that when Tyler Mitchell lived in Chicago I've the experience and fun of playing  musical gigs with him and Rollo many moons ago."

Pianist-Composer Aki Antonia said "I fell in LOVE with energy and the theatrical and spiritually cosmic Sun Ra and his Arkestra from the first I saw him perform in Chicago.!  The saxophonists were on stage rolling around while playing at the Chicago jazz fest one year… and the vocalist had lights  on their bodies……..
 Longtime… musical….colleagues,
Saxophonist, Mwata Bowden (and father of poet Khari B),
and couple, Pianist-Composer, Aki Antonia and Pianist,Theodis Rodgers 
were listening2 the Arkestra and enjoying the music .
As the Arkestra played the sounds resonated with me… 
and thru me….. as a Chicago musician who grew up hearing all the music of my avant garde side
the music I played in Niambi's Big band at Transition East Club back in the day….
For more see my blog post from 2010 on 
"The Awakening of a Female Musical Pharaoh"
In the 100th year of Sun Ra.. and his music….
I could hear the continuum of Sun Ra's musical influence
on ChicaGo's musical community.. 
Sun Ra

in the music of Kelan Phil Corahn...
who had played in Ra's band… but went on to develope his own  systematic studies of music and metaphysical practices
Kelean went on to form AACM, the Artistic Heritage  Ensemble and The Affro Arts Theatre.  In this theater, Cohran  was able to incubate the genesis and the development of the Pharaohs, EWF, Chaka Khan, Darlene Blackburn' Dance troupe and more….

and in the  music of The Pharaohs….


Ra's colors and spiritual energy is all up in EWF's FUNK! 


 I can hear Ra's energy in The Phenix Horns…
  I could even hear it in the  flow of some freeness of AACM's Free JaZZ  energies flowing through... with the  Art Ensemble anD more....

ASe!. ...AACM's energies flowing through the wind as free as musical birds… flying through Space…..

The VIBE: turned out 2 B funky fun at Millennium Park!

 We were all rocking!
★☆★☆★☆★☆~~SPACE IS THE PLACE!~~★☆★☆★☆★☆
Sun Ra's Arkestra at the Chicago Jazz Festival 
 Light Year Twenty Fourteen

All photos  and video by Aki Antonia c 2014
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Before the Bud Biliken Parade … Bronzeville

It's early in the morning… and I'm catching the flow and the rhythm of folks coming to the Parade.  They're bringing their smiles and their HapPY to the one of the largest Parades in the country, in a celebration for Back to School, The Chicago Daily  Defender Newspaper holds an annual Bud Biliken Parade on Martin Luther King Drive in Bronzeville, Chicago. 

Bud Biliken 2014- BAB  Bronzeville Arts Blog
People come back home to Bronzeville from all over the city to catch one of the largest Parades in the nation.
There's an energy... a flow..  a smell … and a rhythm to Bud Biliken… 
I can hear the people walking and talking as they go to the parade…
Excited… anticipating finding that spot…and the smiles on the faces of kids… Priceless!
The smell of Bar-B-Q and hot links is wafting from the Chuck Wagon and other food grills. The Balloons are being blown up and the snowball stands are in place…. Next when I hear the drums I've  got to go!  See you at Bud Biliken…Bronzeville.

The Neighborhood guys….setting up shop at the site of the original Checkerboard Blues Club!

 Martin Luther King Drive awaits the drums of the Marching Bands, Floats and more! 
 The Forum stands in the light on Muddy Waters Drive!
Let's get it going. We're ready!!
 The new Mural Of Nat King Cole on 43rd and King Drive!
(Muddy Waters Drive and King Drive)

 Seats are now  available at Johnson College Prep!
 Getting ready for Bud Biliken on Muddy Waters Drive!
The Chuck Wagon is Back!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Night Rhythms in Bronzeville…detour!

12:30 am ... AUG 7-2014 NIGHT RHYTHMS in Bronzeville
Blogging...Writing & Trying 2 play catch up on my flow of my summer in Bronzeville… 
Can't sleep….So I'm sitting on my back porch chilling… 
writing and enjoying my plants…...  and then ...and I hear some small sounds…
and then…. they turn into big sounds
Looking closer I see 3 HUGE Racoons on the the my back door neighbor's concrete fence. They were…...HUGE!!! 
Tried to take  pictures but they weren't really showing up. 
That's it! 
All night meditations were over!!! OK! I'm going in.