Larry went to a San Francisco Jazz event last night, Robin Eubanks talking and playing about the history of the jazz trombone. Robin told a story about Sun Ra, the jazz composer and “Arkestra” leader.
Sun Ra was on the phone one day trying to make arrangements to take the band to Canada, and Robin overheard his part of the conversation.
“Yes, I understand that those are the regulations for earthlings,” he said to the official, “but what are the rules for the omnipotent?”
Robin couldn’t hear the reply, but it was obviously more bureaucratic requirements. Finally Sun Ra said, “This is the worst planet I’ve ever been on!” and hung up the phone. I know just how he felt.
One thought on “Trombone tales”
Pamela Michaels wrote:
Re Sun Ra: I used to work at a jazz club in NYC called Slugs. Sun Ra’s Solar Arkestra was the house band. They played every Monday night. We (everyone, especially his musicians) were terrified of him. Sometimes he’d stop right in the middle of a set to excoriate some hapless band member for a musical misstep. (If you know his music, you know how difficult it would be to even identify such an error.) The rants often went on for many minutes, while audience and band alike sat silent, wishing for it to end. Looking back, of course, how lucky was I to see/hear him so often and in such a laid back setting? Believe me, he was much more experimental in those house gigs than in anything he ever recorded.