Please join us at Slought Foundation on Saturday, December 4, 2004 from 8:00-10:00pm for for this world premiere event saluting the rich legacy of Philadelphia jazz, where John Coltrane's 'Interstellar Space' meets Sun Ra's 'Space is the Place.' Marshall Allen will perform on alto saxophone, flute, clarinet, kora, and electronic valve instrument, and Rashied Ali will perform on drums.
As a young musician, Marshall Allen (b.1924) performed with pianist Art Simmons, Don Byas and James Moody before enrolling in the Paris Conservatory of Music. After relocating to Chicago, Allen became a pupil of Sun Ra, subsequently joining the his Arkestra in 1958 and leading Sun Ra's formidable reed section for next 40 years (a role akin to the position Johnny Hodges held in the Duke Ellington Orchestra). Marshall, along with John Gilmore, June Tyson and James Jacson, lived, rehearsed, toured and recorded with Sun Ra almost exclusively for much of Ra's musical career. As a member of the Arkestra, Marshall Allen pioneered the Free Jazz movement of the early sixties, having remarkable influence on most of the leading voices in the avant-garde. He is featured on over 200 Sun Ra recordings. Allen assumed the position of meastro in 1995, following the ascension of Sun Ra 1993, and John Gilmore in 1995. Like his mentor, he is committed to the study, research, and development of Sun Ra's musical precepts.
A Philadelphia native, Rashied Ali (b.1935) became a fixture of New York's avant-garde in the 1960s, backing up the excursions of such musical free spirits as Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Paul Bley, Archie Shepp, Bill Dixon and Albert Ayler. Ali's relationship with John Coltrane began in 1965, resulting in the seminal duo recording "Interstellar Space." Following Coltrane's death in 1967, Ali continued playing with pianist Alice Coltrane. In the 1970s, he formed his own record label, 'Survival,' and opened his own performance venue, Ali's Alley, the legendary New York City loft space that presented creative music. In the 1960s, Ali was a leading exponent of multidirectional rhythms and polytonal percussion. A student of Philly Joe Jones and an admirer of Art Blakey, Ali developed the style known as "free jazz" drumming, which liberates the percussionist from the role of human metronome. He continues to perform regulary with Reggie Workman, Dewey Redman, Sonny Fortune and his own quintet.