Shot in 1966, while the Sun Ra Arkestra was still based in NYC (before relocating to Philadelphia in 1968), the composer and filmmaker Phill Niblock’s The Magic Sun is an obscure artifact of profound beauty. It features frenetic black and white footage of the band at play, and an incredible soundtrack – which to knowledge is not duplicated anywhere else. It’s existence displays an often understated relationship between two contemporary iterations of the NY avant-garde. Considering the neglect that Free-Jazz usually suffers in the face of its peer, the film could be considered important for that alone. Context and history aside, it’s a wonderful journey through sight and sound. I can’t recommend it enough.
The Magic Sun (Part One)
The Magic Sun (Part Two)