Sun Ra: Rocket Number Nine Take Off for the Planet Venus


Rocket Number Nine Take Off for the Planet Venus


Sun Ra & His Arkestra


Greatest Hits: Easy Listening for Intergalactic Travel (Evidence ECD 22219-2)

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Sun Ra (piano), Phil Cohran (trumpet), Marshall Allen (alto sax), Pat Patrick (alto sax), John Gilmore (tenor sax), Ronnie Boykins (bass), William Cochran (drums), Edward Skinner (drums).

Composed by Sun Ra


Recorded: Chicago, June 17, 1960


Rating: 59/100 (learn more)

Unskilled, impoverished, equal parts showman, shaman and charlatan, Sun Ra was to jazz what low-budget filmmaker Ed Wood, Jr. was to cinema—an outsider by necessity. Writing about Wood, journalist Gary Morris equally describes Sun Ra: "In fact he had no taste or even 'talent' as that term is generally understood." Just as Wood laced his shoestring Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) with flying saucers that were actually junkyard hubcaps, "Rocket #9" plunders the musical junkyard of Sun Ra's imagination for an uncontrolled 6-minute flight that crashes in Roswell, New Mexico. No need for a cover-up. Just harmless hokum … as that term is generally understood.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz


  • 1 Is Alan Kurtz as unskilled and impoverished as the rest of the folks running this site? // Jan 09, 2008 at 05:09 PM
    Harmless hokum is not what comes to mind reading this so-called review. In fact, this is the farthest I have come in reading any serious review of Sun Ra's legacy. Who the hell is allowing this bloody insensitive and deaf idiot the courtesy of writing up Sun Ra's work?
  • 2 Rev // Jan 12, 2008 at 05:45 PM
    In this site's forum Alan Kurtz admits that he is neither a writer or a musician... no kidding! If he were a musician he'd be far more likely to understand what is is that Sun Ra did, and why so many highly skilled musicians, who could have played with any jazz band in the world, chose to follow the Sun. Sorry, but this type of commentary does nothing to inspire confidence in this site.
  • 3 Susan Jones // Jan 16, 2008 at 05:25 PM
    This "review" is the biggest load of crap I've ever seen from a supposedly serious site. Embarrassing and deeply insulting to Sun Ra, who thankfully is dead--at least he has the fortune to not read Mr. Kurtz.
  • 4 Blue Morris // Apr 28, 2008 at 10:13 PM
    Even if one is not a fan of Sun Ra, it's an oversight not to mention mention his creativity, his influence on jazz and other forms of music, and his great body of work. I wonder if this reviewer has listened to any Sun Ra other than a quick preview of this "Greatest Hits" album.
  • 5 Danny // Oct 23, 2008 at 09:21 PM
    A review of just one track? Really, this kind of writing belongs on, not here. Has Kurz heard any of Sun Ra's albums, which number over 150, or even the balance of this "greatest hits" collection? Anyone stupid enough to publicly dismiss a great artist as talentless when they are speaking from complete ignorance probably couldn't be expected to grasp the music anyway.
  • 6 samit mukergee // Jan 04, 2009 at 08:41 PM
    Alan Kurtz strikes again ! that make 2 fatuous reviews of Sun Ra's work, further proof that any tin eared cretin can write record reviews and have them published as criticism, if this site cares about jazz at all then Kurtz should be deleted.
  • 7 Alan Kurtz // Jan 31, 2009 at 01:17 AM
    Samit Mukergee strikes again! Sir, I am delighted that you find my Sun Ra reviews fatuous. That means I captured the essence of the two tracks upon which you've commented. Restricted by guidelines to scarcely more than 100 words apiece, I feared I might not be able to do justice to "Rocket Number Nine Take Off for the Planet Venus" and "Medicine for a Nightmare." Thankfully, you've put my mind at ease. Even so, I must respectfully disagree with your characterization of me as just "any tin-eared cretin." On this web site, I like to think of myself as THE tin-eared cretin.