While I was a college student back in the 1970’s I got the opportunity to see Sun Ra perform in concert twice. On one of those occasions prior to the actual concert itself the film “Space Is The Place” was shown.
The film is shot at the foot of the pyramids in Egypt and consists mostly of the Arkastra in performance and Sun Ra explaining his philosophies. One of the things that .Sun Ra discusses is his belief that Black people came to the earth from the planet Saturn and built the pyramids in Egypt. This theory of course has been advanced elsewhere andis a key component of the P-Funk philosophy as well (see: Afronauts).
Sun Ra goes on further to explain that Blacks will never truly be free until they return to the planet Saturn because it is their “natural home”
This theory has been espoused by other FUNK artists as well (ex. Charles Earland on the album “Leaving This Planet”)
Back in the 70’s these kind of theories were quite popular. As far as music goes I would have to say that Sun Ra is probably the originator of the idea !!
So anytime we hear a FUNK jam with a “Sci Fi” theme we should all probably thank Sun Ra for it !!!
I think that it would be fair to say that Sun Ra was an innovator of the first degree and that he is a pioneer of certain themes that were later an influence on people like George Clinton and Miles Davis
After listening to the entire “Singles” CD it is clear to me that Sun Ra was mixing “soul, jazz, rock n’ roll & blues”…so you know what that means for me !!! 🙂 ,