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 The Art of Arkestration: Sun Ra Discography

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Mr007
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PostSubject: The Art of Arkestration: Sun Ra Discography   Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:06 pm

Jazz by Sun Ra a.k.a. Sun Song
1957



Tracks

1. Brainville
2. Call For All Demons
3. Transitions
4. Possession
5. Street Named Hell
6. Lullaby for Realville
7. Future
8. Swing A Little Taste
9. New Horizons
10. Fall Off The Log
11. Sun Song

Ok, so this is the first Sun Ra Album, and the first one I'm going to review. I'm going to hopefully attempt to cover Sun Ra's entire discography, and do an album a day. For those who don't know, there is a LOT of Sun Ra. It's very typical for Jazz musicians to basically continue to release material for the lengths of their careers, and Sun Ra's career began in the late 40s, and ended in the early 90s. So, there is a lot. According to wiki, 100 albums. I am going to attempt to cover them all.

Due to that, I'm going to have to be kind of quick with my reviews. A few of these I've listened to ten or more times, a few I haven't listened to once. So, don't expect too thorough of analysis. However, if you want a good guideline into what you're getting from the album, then you will get it here.

Ok starting with Sun Song which I just freshly finished for the first time. First of all, I enjoyed this album a lot. Albeit, the clear earliest of Sun Ra tends to be more conventional(no 20 minute moog solos) jazz, it's good Jazz none-the-less. This being his first album, it's mostly straight Jazz. Some of which sounds very much like you'd hear out of earlier Coltrane, or Thelonious Monk. At this point, Sun Ra hasn't seemed to fully molded himself into the avant-gardist he would later become.

However, there is SOME of his later traits preserved. The final song, Sun Song, involves a lot of electronic organ, and you get a lot of his strange percussion in there. Another good one is "A Street Named Hell" which utilizes very strange percussion, and I think I even spotted some of the experimentation in multiple percussionist he's given credit for introducing into Jazz in there. Not to expect anything as out there as Varese, but there's little hints here, and there.

The track names show a very strong centricity in the space themes which seem consistent. Sun Ra being the very existential person he is, you get some of that abstract tone from them. The music, however, is just catching up at this point. It doesn't stop the fact, however, his band itself is still one of the best when it comes to straight jazz. Even if you pick up this album expecting a little more than horn driven bop pieces(and there's a few), you'll still get your most out of even those.

Plus, a few hints at what would later become his legacy.

8.5/10

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