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MUSIC: HISTORY, SURVEYS & THEORY

PUBLISHER
Blank Forms Editions

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 6.25 x 8.25 in. / 512 pgs / 20 color / 40 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2023 p. 15   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781953691163 TRADE
List Price: $29.95 CDN $41.95

AVAILABILITY
In stock

TERRITORY
NA LA ASIA AU/NZ AFR ME

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BLANK FORMS EDITIONS

A Strange Celestial Road

My Time in the Sun Ra Arkestra

By Ahmed Abdullah with Louis Reyes Rivera. Foreword by Salim Washington. Photographs by Marilyn Nance, Val Wilmer, Raymond Ross, Adger Cowans.

A Strange Celestial Road

A thrilling account of life with Sun Ra’s Arkestra and New York’s avant-garde jazz scenes of the 1970s–90s

In this memoir, Harlem-born trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah recounts decades of national and international touring with the Sun Ra Arkestra and charts the rise of the New York loft jazz scene, offering a fascinating portrait of advanced music in Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan from the 1970s through the 1990s, including thrilling stories about the politically important Bed-Stuy venue The East and the author's tutelage under composer and long-time Archie Shepp collaborator Cal Massey. Along the way, Abdullah covers his spiritual development as a Buddhist, battles with addiction, tribulations as a father, lessons from Sun Ra and working life as an educator and cab driver.
Trumpeter and educator Ahmed Abdullah was born in Harlem in 1947. An important figure in the New York loft jazz movement, in 1972 he formed a group called Abdullah, two years before joining the Sun Ra Arkestra, with whom he played for more than 20 years. He is a founding member of the bands Melodic Art-Tet, The Group and NAM, and of the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium. Abdullah is the music director at Sistas’ Place in Brooklyn, and teaches music at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan and an elementary school in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.


A Strange Celestial Road

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/21/2023

Trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah on his time in the Sun Ra Arkestra

Trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah on his time in the Sun Ra Arkestra

New from Blank Forms Editions, A Strange Celestial Road: My Time in the Sun Ra Arkestra is a one-of-a-kind, 512-page goldmine by Harlem-born trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah, recounting decades of national and international touring with the Sun Ra Arkestra and charting the rise of the New York loft jazz scene. Featured photograph is of Abdullah with Sun Ra and His Arkestra in Istanbul, Turkey, 1990⁠. Abdullah quotes Sun Ra: “It’s not easy to play in this band because there’s certain stuff you have to have. You have to belong, you have to be rated by Superior Beings as suitable, and if you’re not rated … I be telling everybody, it’s not my band. It’s the Creator’s band, and if they’re not suitable for the future, they won’t be fit for the present.” continue to blog