His thrilling Zulu-label 45s — the distillation of the sound on both recently-revived LPs — in Japanese-style packaging. Ra vs. Kool And The Gang brass, Black Jazz vibes, amplified thumb-piano and African drums.
Plenty of errors (Languidity? With folk maestro Richard Thompson on bass?), and enough hot air to stick Branson on the moon, but some engrossing interviews, too.
Recorded in 1956-60 and way ahead of their time, these two albums are a good place to start a Sun Ra collection. The Angels And Demons title track is terrific.
Two albums that bridge the Arkestra’s move from Chicago to New York in the early 1960s.
Ra goes back to his roots in this hommage to the big-band sound of Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson.
Live at Donaueschingen and Berlin festivals in 1970, featuring Alan Silva, Leroy Taylor, Lex Humphries and co.
1960, Chicago. Fascinating glimpse of the band live at The Wonder Inn — plus a studio rarity, the Majestic Hall session.
NYC 1969/70. A mixture of out band tracks featuring fine vocals by June Tyson, and Sun Ra’s inimitable solo Moog synthesizer.
Late-sixties… with Marshall Allen on Jupiterian flute and Danny Thompson on Neptunian libflecto. ‘Great slow blues, creepy space voice, very cool space-exotica, crazed circus fanfare and a cacophonous romp.’
This 1964 experiment is minimal, precise and — even by Ra’s standards — very unusual. Featuring a fabulous tirade from tenor John Gilmore on the title track.
Two studio albums from 1973, though Friendly Love was never released at the time — and Pathways now comes with an unissued track.
People say this is weird Ra, but it’s one of his out and out masterpieces. Bangingly rhythmic at times, always rumbustiously creative, compellingly rich.
Rooted in the standards, these early tracks include a gorgeous vocal version of Round Midnight by Hatty Randolph. Deep Purple — from 1953, with Stuff Smith on violin — is one of the earliest.
Fantastic culmination of Evidence’s superb re-issue programme — everything from doo-wop to disco 2100 in this compilation of ultra-rare singles.
Two albums from the dawn of the Arkestra sound in late-50s Chicago, when the band started wearing space costumes while playing jazz enriched with gongs and bells.