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Live At Praxis '84

The Sun Ra Arkkestra

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Album Review

This two-CD set (reissued from a triple LP) is by no means indispensable Sun Ra, but it does give a sense of what the Arkestra sounded like live in the mid-1980s. All the excesses are there, including the silly, repetitive lyrics that made the group such a blast to watch. A healthy portion of the tunes are standards, including "Mack the Knife" (with a hilarious Louis Armstrong imitation), "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," "Satin Doll," and "Days of Wine and Roses." The band could swing mightily, and it harbored an uncanny ability to perform virtually the entire history of jazz in a single set. This version of the Archestra (recorded in Athens, Greece) includes mainstay saxophonists Marshall Allen, John Gilmore, and Danny Ray Thompson; three percussionists; and only a single brass player (trumpeter Ronnie Brown). A must for Sun Ra collectors and aficionados of the exotic, but for others, there is better Ra available.

Live At Praxis '84, The Sun Ra Arkkestra
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