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Living Sky

by Sun Ra Arkestra

supported by
Larry Looney
Larry Looney thumbnail
Larry Looney Grateful that the spirit known as Sun Ra is being kept alive, sailing ever further into the cosmos. This album is filled with interstellar beauty. Favorite track: Chopin.
hellyeahitsian thumbnail
hellyeahitsian An hour of absolute bliss. Under the direction of Marshall Allen (an absolute force of nature), there are moments you’d never know that Sun Ra has been gone for 30 years. Twists and turns, beauty, reckoning, and joy all sit in this album,

This isn’t a throwback album; There are new dimensions to the Arkestra in the loving treatment of standards. All together, it’s an absolute triumph that only heightens my excitement for the Arkestra. This is perfection, purchase it. Favorite track: Night of the Living Sky.
jwolf333f thumbnail
jwolf333f Easily the best Arkestra record since Purple Night or Blue Delight from the late 80s. The vinyl sounds magnificent.
  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    -- All orders after Sept 22, 2023 will be shipped on Nov 10, 2023 --
    180 gr 2LP in black, obi strip, gatefold jacket, 2 sided insert sheet, gold foil stamped cover art, anti-static sleeves, featuring artwork by Damon Locks

    Includes unlimited streaming of Living Sky via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 25 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $30.99 USD or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10.99 USD  or more


  • Limited Edition Gatefold Double Vinyl (includes two artprints of Sun Ra and Marshall Allen by Damon Locks)
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    2x artprints of Marshall Allen and Sun Ra on special gilded 300 gr paper by Black Monument Ensemble’s Damon Locks, 180 gr 2LP in black, obi strip, special cut vinyl sleeves, gatefold jacket, double sided insert sheet, gold foil stamped cover art.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Living Sky via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Sold Out

  • Compact Disc
    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    -- All orders after Sept 22, 2023 will be shipped on Nov 10, 2023 --
    Comes with a liner notes booklet

    Includes unlimited streaming of Living Sky via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Sold Out

Chopin 07:45
Firefly 10:01


For more than two decades, the disciple that has most visibly carried on Sun Ra Arkestra’s legacy and sound is their musical director, alto saxophonist Marshall Allen, the iconic fire breather and life force that restored the Arkestra’s vitality in the massive vacuum left by Ra and John Gilmore’s death in the ‘90s. Allen turned 98 in 2022 and, as evidenced by Living Sky, his influence and leadership remain undiminished. Marking the Arkestra’s first new recording since their 2021 Grammy-nominated album Swirling, Living Sky was recorded on June 15, 2021 at Rittenhouse SoundWorks in Philadelphia and features a total of nineteen musicians, including a strings section. It was mixed and mastered by three-time Grammy winner Dave Darlington (Eddie Palmieri, Brian Lynch, Wayne Shorter).

Living Sky includes the first instrumental recording of Ra’s “Somebody Else’s Idea,” originally recorded in 1955 and again in 1970 for proper release on 1971’s My Brother The Wind, Vol II. Without June Tyson’s fierce vocal presence, “Somebody Else’s Idea” feels more measured, allowing for the hovering harmonic movement to glide into the foreground with the horns modulating their volume and presence in each cycle and bringing in new details, whether it be the mewling trumpets of Michael Ray and Cecil Brooks or the seeking sound flurries blow by Allen on Electronic Valve Instrument.

The Arkestra’s renewed brilliance is thanks in part to the singing of Tara Middleton, the true heir to Tyson, who plays violin and flute in the album. With Living Sky the Arkestra eschew the human voice, creating cosmic tones only with their instruments. The repertoire includes pieces of more recent vintage penned by Allen, complementing a variety of classic material that take on a decidedly more mellow hue in this context. The album opens with “Prelude in A Major,” Ra’s elaboration of the Frédéric Chopin miniature that previously appeared on only a few live recordings. Special Arkestra harmonies emanate from “Marshall’s Groove,” a spacey blues by Allen that ramps up patiently, like flames gingerly lapping at a sonic cauldron until an inferno engulfs the pot stoked by the swinging groove of drummer Wayne Anthony Smith Jr. Allen temporarily sets aside his alto in favor of the kora on his “Day of the Living Sky,” where his chiming chords open up like a sunrise welcoming the gurgle of hand percussion, meandering flute, and muted low brass crying in the far distance.

The album concludes with a pair of tuneful ballads that inject an uncertain optimism and beauty into the proceedings. Allen’s gorgeous “Firefly” provides the saxophonist with a lush platform for an extended solo toggling between pleading cries and ecstatic hollers while clearing improvisational space for Scott, veteran French horn maestro Vincent Chancey, trombonist Adriene G Davis, tenor saxophonist Nasir P. Dickenson, and a three-way string conversation between Middleton, Gwen Laster, and Melanie Dyer. The album’s hopeful vibe embraces a leap of faith with a new spin on “When You Wish Upon a Star,” a long-time feature in the Arkestra’s rep, where Allen offers a testimonial that’s anything but starry-eyed.

For decades listeners have looked to Sun Ra’s Arkestra for outward bound possibilities in music that grapples with earthly mayhem by embracing other galaxies. Yet their music has always been grounded by the human spirit. In this first new recording since the pandemic bandleader Marshall Allen and company give us something we can hold onto, an instrumental album rich in spirituality guiding us through the unknown yet again.


released October 7, 2022

Sun Ra Arkestra
Marshall Allen - Alto Saxophone, Kora, EVI
Knoel Scott - Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Nasir P. Dickerson - Tenor Saxophone
Chris Hemingway - Tenor Saxophone
Michael Ray - Trumpet
Cecil Brooks - Trumpet
Vincent Chancey - French Horn
Dave Davis - Trombone
Robert Stringer - Trombone
Farid Barron - Piano
Dave Hotep - Guitar
Tyler Mitchell - Bass
Wayne Anthony Smith, Jr - Drums
Ron McBee - Percussion
Jorge Silva - Percussion
Elson Nascimento - Percussion
Tara Middleton - Violin, Flute
Gwen Laster - Violin
Melanie Dyer - Viola
Kash Killion - Cello, Sarangi

Michael Richelle, Recording Engineer
Dave Darlington, Mixing and Mastering
Damon Locks, Artwork
Ulaş Eryavuz, Graphic Design
Vladimir Radojicic, Photography
Ahmet Uluğ, Executive Producer
Rana Uludağ, Assistant Producer

Many thanks to
Ahmet Ali Arslan, Aslı Uludağ, Bill Bragin, Brian Baccus, Bora Genel, Buğda Savaşır Uluğ, Catalina Maria Johnson, Elif Cemal, Elson Nascimento, Irwin Chusid, İzlem Arsiya, Jim Hamilton, John Corbett, Jordana Leigh, Kaan Düzarat, Michael Orlove, Murat Odabaşı, Pelin Opcin, Reha Öztunalı

Dedicated to the legacy of
Sun Ra (1914-1993)
Bandleader, composer, arranger, keyboard player, poet, philosopher and cosmonaut.

In memory of
Hartmut Geerken (1939- 2021)
German musician, composer, writer, journalist, playwright, and filmmaker.
Mehmet Ulug (1959-2013)
Turkish producer & promoter, Omni’s pathway to Sun Ra.

2022 Omni Sound


all rights reserved



Sun Ra Arkestra Alabama

The cosmic jazz master would have celebrated his 100th earth year in 2014 but his catalogue of over 150 albums, his unique philosophy and his legendary live performances live on for a new generation. The Arkestra lives on, under the direction of Marshall Allen. ... more


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