Afrofuturism pioneers Sun Ra Arkestra have shared a new song, “Chopin,” from their forthcoming album Living Sky. The jazz group’s first studio recording in years, “Chopin” is a deeply stunning and hypnotic exploration of sound, anchored by the virtuosic playing of alto saxophonist Marshall Allen.
“Chopin” is the Arkestra’s first new recording since their 2021 Grammy-nominated album Swirling, and it finds the group in top form, crafting an otherworldly sound that is both spiritual and deeply affecting. The album was mixed and mastered by three-time Grammy winner Dave Darlington (Eddie Palmieri, Brian Lynch, Wayne Shorter), and it features a total of nineteen musicians, including a strings section.
Living Sky is a gorgeous collection of music that is sure to be a touchstone for jazz fans and afrofuturists alike. The album was commissioned by executive producer Ahmet Ulug, who has a long history with the Arkestra, dating back to the 1980s. With this new album, the Arkestra have given us something extraordinary: a profoundly moving and spiritually charged work of art that transcends time and space.
Though Sun Ra may have passed in 93, his musical legacy continues to burn brightly through the work of Marshall Allen and the Sun Ra Arkestra. With Living Sky, we are given a glimpse into the infinite possibilities of their sound, and we are better for it.
When asked about the album, baritone saxophonist Knoel Scott had this to say: “This freshened arrangement of this Sun Ra Classic is a testament to the vintaged mastery of Marshall Allen and is truly reflective of his position as a keeper of the Sun Ra Legacy.”
Living Sky is out October 7th on Omni Sound. You can check out “Chopin” below.