Sun Ship was one of the only albums John Coltrane's quartet recorded without sound engineer Rudy Van Gelder. By this time, Coltrane had begun to augment his usual quartet with additional musicians for both live dates and recording sessions, such as the June 28, 1965 Ascension date, for which Coltrane employed an 11-piece ensemble. Tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders was playing regularly with the band by September, 1965, and both McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones left the band in January, 1966.
Sun Ship: The Complete Session, a two-CD collection, was released in 2013. On this release, "Amen" appears unaltered, and there are alternative takes of all five tracks, incomplete takes, and sections of some titles.