Rodger Coleman, Sun Ra Sundays. Edited by Sam Byrd. 2022.
In his time on planet Earth, the iconoclastic musician, visionary, big band leader, and composer Sun Ra left behind a treasure trove of music—studio recordings, live performances, rehearsals—many of them appearing on his homegrown label Saturn. In Sun Ra Sundays, Rodger Coleman examines over 130 of these recordings, both released and unreleased, placing them in histor- ical and biographical context and giving detailed critical analyses of the music. Originally appearing on Coleman’s blog NuVoid, all of the essays have been updated, corrected, and arranged in discographical order. Sun Ra Sundays is a major work of criticism, a goldmine of information for both the novice and the experienced Ra fanatic (and everyone in between).
Some of the best research and historical commentary are done by scholars without funding—they do it as a labor love. They are driven by curiosity, passion, and a high regard for the subject matter. That’s how Rodger Coleman’s Sun Ra Sundays evolved. The opinions herein are exhaustive, authoritative, and worth reading. They are a valuable addition to Sun Ra scholarship … Thank you Mr. Coleman for your monumental journalistic commitment. I learned a lot from these posts.
Irwin Chusid, Administrator for the Sun Ra Estate
Rodger Coleman studied piano for eight years before attending the New England Conservatory of Music, where he began playing electric guitar and joined fellow students in the punk/jazz hybrid band UYA. He currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has continued to make music. In 2006, he started the NuVoid blog as an outlet for various writings about music “and other good stuff” — including Sun Ra.
Sam Byrd is Scholarly Publishing Librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. He writes about Sun Ra on his blog World of Abstract Dreams.