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Sun Ra

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Customer Reviews

Great Album for the die-hard Sun Ra/Avant-Garde Jazz Fan

I got this album on vinyl about two years ago, not knowing the background behind Sun Ra other than he was sampled heavily on tracks by producer/emcee Madlib. The first song, The Mystery of Two, sounds like Charlie Bird-era Bebop with the sound being as frenzied as it could be. You get this sense that this album is going to be a regular Bebop album, albeit a good Bebop album. Yet things take a turn when the song Interstellar Low-ways opens. The Big Band stage you imagined from the first track has now left the smokey, raucous club it performed in and is now slowly traveling through the cosmos with the tempo slower and calmed. This album is as calm as it is frenzied, traditional as it is avant-garde. This album shows duality with Sun Ra showing his traditional chops on the art of Bebop but pushing boundaries and launching rockets with his rockischord. This album once a rarity to crate-diggers, is now for all to know and love. I highly recommend it.


Beautiful music by Ra that takes the listener to outer worlds.


Born: May 22, 1914 in Birmingham, AL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Of all the jazz musicians, Sun Ra was probably the most controversial. He did not make it easy for people to take him seriously, for he surrounded his adventurous music with costumes and mythology that both looked backward toward ancient Egypt and forward into science fiction. In addition, Ra documented his music in very erratic fashion on his Saturn label, generally not listing recording dates and giving inaccurate personnel information, so one could not really tell how advanced some of his innovations...
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