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.
The second NYC LP, from 1961, Ra on piano leading a three-saxes sextet away from the big-band Chicago sound, into the unknown. Plenty of Gilmore. Exotic Two is a terrific percussion-and-piano original.
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.’
From 1972, with Ra on organ throughout — trading solos with Gilmore and trumpeter Kwame Hadi on the bluesy title cut; duetting with drummer Luqman Ali on In A Blue Mood. June Tyson stars on Blackman.
From 1977: flute, poetry and percussion, a flute duet, massed doowop; some great big-band-brass featuring space organ, Ahmed Abdullah’s trumpet, and Marshall Allen blasting off. Ace.
An early lyrical gem — from 1956 — mixing up big-band sonorities, ahead-of-its-time electric piano, and extra percussion.