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Sun Ra Arkestra Announce First Album in 20 Years

Jazz collective shared a preview of the new LP with an animated music video directed by Chad Van Gaalen

Sun Ra Arkestra, the pioneering jazz collective founded by the late Sun Ra, have announced their first studio album in over 20 years — since 1999’s Song for the Sun.

The LP, whose title has yet to be announced, was recorded at Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Soundworks and will be released later this year on Strut Records.

On Tuesday, Sun Ra Arkestra shared the first taste of the new album, “Seductive Fantasy,” a fresh take on a composition originally recorded for 1979’s On Jupiter. The single comes with an abstract animated music video directed by Canadian recording artist Chad Van Gaalen.

Founded in the mid-Fifties — and led by 96-year-old alto saxophonist Marshall Allen since Sun Ra’s death in 1993 — the Arkestra has kept up a busy touring schedule over the past two decades, performing festival shows, opening for Solange on her 2017 tour (which the singer praised as “THE most divine joy!”) and collaborating with Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art for a 2009 exhibition on the group’s history and artistry. The Arkestra’s last major performance was a three-night residency at the Hollywood Theater in Portland, Oregon, in 2019.

This past December, Sun Ra’s estate shared a never-before-released live set by the Afrofuturist legend, titled Haverford College 1980 Solo Piano.