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SUN RA

Sun Ra

Astro Black

    One of a handful of albums Sun Ra released on the legendary Impulse! label in the early ‘70s, Astro Black provides a comprehensive picture of where the Arkestra was around the time, drawing to the end of their ultra-free period and beginning to investigate more traditional jazz forms, and even the fringes of funk.

    TRACK LISTING

    Astro Black
    Discipline “99”
    Hidden Spheres
    The Cosmo-Fire

    Recorded in New York in the Summer of 1978 for Philly Jazz (who attempted to form the Ra-legion Cosmo-Fan Club!), this legendary (and previously ultra-rare) LP is maybe the closest Sunny ever got to a crossover album! That's not to say that the out-of-this-world arrangements have been toned down (far from it!), but you can hear the influence of disco and fusion on tracks like "Where Pathways Meet" and "That's How I Feel". It's had a few re-issues over the years, including an amazing deluxe version, which was enough to get my pants moistened, but now it has been reissued on vinyl with all original artwork, and some amazing liner notes in which they interview Bob Blank (the engineer), Michael Ray, Danny Thompson (Arkestra musicians) and Tom Buchler (from Philly Jazz) - I have well and truly soaked my trolleys!! Definitely one of the top five all-time greatest Sun Ra albums - if you've never bought one before, I reckon that this is the perfect introduction to THE GENIUS OF SUN RA!!!

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Lanquidity
    A2. Where Pathways Meet
    A3. That’s How I Feel
    B1. Twin Stars Of Thence
    B2. There Are Other World (They Have Not Told You Of)

    The future rendered here by Ra seems more dystopian than utopian, and these 1975 guided improvisations are imbued with an underlying violence, alternate twists, bank turns, headchoppers, loops, rolls, sidewinders and drops. It’s a dark & glorious journey. Featuring the debut of the complete version of “Extension Out”. “Pathways” has been exquisitely mastered from the four-track session reel and includes an insert offering an enlightening glimpse at Ra & co.’s plans for their major label lucre.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Pathways To Unknown Worlds 
    2. View From A Mountain Top 
    3. Extension Out 
    4. Cosmo-Media

    Sun Ra

    Lanquidity (Deluxe Edition)

      Strut present the definitive edition of Sun Ra’s classic ‘Lanquidity’ album from 1978 with brand new 4LP box set and 2CD editions.

      Recorded overnight at Bob Bank’s Blank Tapes on 17th July 1978 after the Arkestra had appeared on Saturday Night Live, the album is unique in the Ra catalogue. “Most critics felt that it was more of a fusion-inspired record,” explains Michael Ray. “As the name suggests, the album is liquid and languid.” Bob Blank continues, “Musically, it was very ad hoc and freeform. There were horn charts but most tracks came out of improvised jams. Sun Ra just did his thing.”

      Comprising five effortlessly fluid pieces, the album eases in with Lanquidity. Danny Ray Thompson remembers, “This was one of Sun Ra’s on-the-spot compositions. It is almost like an Ancient Egyptian Stargazing Ceremony, mapping out the stars and the planets.” Where Pathways Meet is “Sun Ra’s funky version of an Egyptian march. Pharaoh is sending his troops off to fight and this is his pep-talk!” continues Thompson. “The music seems to take different pathways but still converges.” The loping groove of That’s How I Feel, features the reflective trumpet lines of Eddie Gale with solos by John Gilmore and Marshall Allen: “Marshall comes in with that snake charming oboe.” Says Thompson. The funky Twin Stars Of Thence weaves around Richard Williams celebrated elastic bassline while the haunting closer, There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of), is pure “space music.” The poet Mama Nzinga described it as ‘The essence of light. Spirit takes a ride inside the deep dark space of just being.”

      The new box set edition of ‘Lanquidity’ features the widely distributed version of the album alongside alternative mixes by Bob Blank originally released in limited quantities for a 1978 Arkestra gig at Georgia Tech. Both versions of the album are cut loud at 45 rpm over 2LPs each.

      Housed in a silver foil box, both LP sets reflect the original Phlly Jazz artwork. The first comes in a foil / magenta sleeve while the second features 2 x yellow A4 sheets pasted onto a white sleeve. Also included is a 12-page over-sized booklet featuring unseen photos by Veryl Oakland and liner notes by Tom Buchler (Philly Jazz), Michael Ray and Danny Ray Thompson (Sun Ra Arkestra) and Bob Blank.

      The 2CD version is housed in a foil digipak.

      TRACK LISTING

      4LP TRACKLISTING:
      A1. Lanquidity
      B1. Where Pathways Meet
      B2. That’s How I Feel
      C1. Twin Stars Of Thence
      D1. There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of)
      E1. Lanquidity (Alternate Version)
      E2. Where Pathways Meet (Alternate Version)
      F1. That’s How I Feel (Alternate Version)
      G1. Twin Stars Of Thence (Alternate Version)
      H1. There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of) (Alternate Version)

      2CD TRACKLISTING:
      CD 1
      1. Lanquidity
      2. Where Pathways Meet
      3. That’s How I Feel
      4. Twin Stars Of Thence
      5. There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of)
      CD 2
      1. Lanquidity (Alternate Version)
      2. Where Pathways Meet (Alternate Version)
      3. That’s How I Feel (Alternate Version)
      4. Twin Stars Of Thence (Alternate Version)
      5. There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of) (Alternate Version)

      An F-bomb saturated hip-hop call & response club cut...from Sun Ra?! While the most renown track in this omniversal opus is the atomic expletive-filled repartee ‘Nuclear War,’ there is so much more to this dark mysterious journey through the mind of Sun Ra.

      The sprawling, suite-like 20-minute title track sustains a lyrical edge in spite of an open framework and textures, which encourage sonorities to surface and emerge from the band as if there was no human intention behind them. In opposition to ‘Nuclear War,’ Ra’s organ playing here was built less on bombast and sonic terror than it is on whispers, stutters, shivers, and swells.

      Fireside Chat offers a wide stylistic array, as was the artist’s intent, reflecting his eclectic, seemingly irreconcilable approach to compositional extremes. With Sun Ra you get everything... except predictability.

      First ever reissue of this iconic album!

      TRACK LISTING

      Nuclear War
      Retrospect
      Makeup
      A Fireside Chat With Lucifer

      EABS

      Discipline Of Sun Ra

        The creative process of the album revolved around two Sun Ra’s ideas - deconstruction and discipline. “He sent members of the Arkestra out to research individual players in Henderson group in the order to get the feeling right when playing their parts. Sun Ra told them they weren’t copying those pieces, they were re-creating them, and with the proper information they could know the spirit behind the original.”

        That’s how Herman Sonny Blount treated the music of the swing legend, Fletcher Henderson. EABS approached the composition of Sun Ra in exactly the same way. An equally important element with recording was a regime associated with the discipline and precision that the pianist from Saturn fought for, using a series of exercises-compositions entitled ‘Discipline’ previously used by Arkestra.

        Sun Ra was aiming to record timeless music that could still be alive in 1000 years, and with no hesitation, he managed to do it. The music from distant planets is infinite. “By infinity, Mr.Ra means creating jazz of the future, but also covering the past”.

        TRACK LISTING

        Brainville
        Interstellar Low Ways
        The Lady With The Golden Stockings (The Golden Lady)
        Discipline 27
        Neo-Project #2
        Trying To Put The Blame On Me
        UFO

        In the years leading up to 1971, Sun Ra wrote many compositions and poems specifically inspired by the ancient African Kingdoms and many others with associated mythological and heliocentric connotations. As such, a visit to Egypt and the opportunity for the Arkestra to play there was a matter of necessity. Ra’s first ever concerts outside of the US had occurred in late summer and autumn of 1970 with performances in France, Germany and the UK and a second European tour was arranged for late 1971. At the end of that second tour, Ra caught wind of cheap flights from Denmark to Cairo.

        This release comprises recordings made by Arkestra member Thomas “Bugs” Hunter made in December 1971 in the streets around the Mena House Hotel, Giza, from a concert held at the house of Goethe Institute ex-pat Hartmut Geerken in Heliopolis, from a live Cairo TV channel broadcast and a concert at the Ballon Theatre in Cairo.

        The impact and significance of these few weeks upon Sun Ra can be measured by the growth and development of his output over the next few years; the immediate post-Egypt period included new studio and live recordings on the Saturn, Blue Thumb, Atlantic and Impulse labels and the ‘Space Is The Place’ movie. Ra also edited the three LPs of the ‘Live In Egypt’ series which were subsequently released on his Saturn record label and its affiliated twin, Thoth Intergalactic: ‘Dark Myth Equation Visitation’, ‘Nidhamu’ and ‘Horizon’.


        TRACK LISTING

        A1. Space Loneliness No. 2
        A2. Discipline No. 11
        A3. Discipline No. 15
        B1. Nidhamu

        Sun Ra & His Myth Science Arkestra

        When Angels Speak Of Love

          This 1963 set establishes Sun Ra's Arkestra as a New York band, sonically coupled to developments in the decidedly urbane downtown arts underground.The stargazing clamor of the music reflects the intensity of a cultural crossroads where concrete and dust pervade any skyward view, from East 3rd Street to Mars and beyond. One of Sun Ra's rarest releases, it had negligible circulation through shops. While most of the Saturn output couldn't get any rarer or mysterious than it already was, 'When Angels Speak of Love' was released in 1966, it was the most elusive and mysterious in the Sun Ra catalog. It's speculated that the record was issued in two micro runs, with estimates around 150 copies. Hard core collectors around the world had been searching for this gem to no avail until Evidence Records' released a CD of the music in 2000. This updated offering utilizes the actual master tapes and we get to hear the Arkestra in its cosmic mid-60's prime via mono and stereo fidelity. Features three additional stereo tracks, with liner notes by jazz historian Clifford Allen.

          Sun Ra

          Monorails And Satellites - Works For Solo Piano Vols. 1,2,3

          "I have always thought orchestra. I play that way, even when playing the piano." - Sun Ra

          Considering the monumental depth of Sun Ra's recorded oeuvre, there are surprisingly few solo piano albums.

          Monorails and Satellites Volumes 1 and 2 were the first commercial LPs of the artist's solo keyboard excursions. Recorded in 1966 and released on his Saturn imprint in 1968, Volume 1 featured seven idiosyncratic originals and one standard ("Easy Street") delivered in Sunny's singular manner. Volume 2 was released the following year, and contains five compositions, all originals. A third volume was prepped but shelved, and this deluxe edition marks it's premiere release.

          As with all Cosmic Myth releases these volumes are superbly mastered, and are available as a deluxe 2xCD or 3xLP tri-gatefold cover with copious liners notes by renown American jazz pianist Vijay Iyer, and additional overviews by jazz historian Ben Young and producer Irwin Chusid.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Space Towers
          2. Cognition
          3. Skylight
          4. The Alter Destiny
          5. Easy Street
          6. Blue Differentials
          7. Monorails And Satellites
          8. The Galaxy Way
          9. Astro Vision
          10. The Ninth Eye
          11. Solar Boats
          12. Perspective Prisms Of Is
          13. Calundronius
          14. Soundscapes
          15. The Eternal Tomorrow
          16. Today Is Not Yesterday
          17. World Island Festival
          18. The Changing Wind
          19. Don't Blame Me
          20. Gone With The Wind
          21. How Am I To Know
          22. Yesterdays

          Sun Ra And His Arkestra

          El Is A Sound Of Joy / Black Sky And Blue Moon

            Shining sounds from the dawn of the Sun Ra Arkestra. "El is A Sound of Joy" was recorded in 1956 and appeared the following year on the very first Saturn LP, Super-Sonic Jazz. Incredible is the fact that saxophonist Charles Davis, here providing the soulful baritone anchor line (counterpoint to Ra's formidable left hand), remains in the front-line of today's Sun Ra Arkestra directed by Marshall Allen. Shuffle swing breakdown jets leisurely, casually, masterfully, painting lush, post-modern impressions of ancient future worlds, of space, of time … of Chicago's elevated trains … Reaching for the sky, for Joy …. The “Joy” coda dovetails magically into the intro theme of "Black Sky And Blue Moon," before downshifting into another dimension of romantic outrospection. We follow The Nu Sounds, aka Cosmic Rays, on a faraway journey to the land of late-50s Chicago singing groups, the Arkestra supporting with quiet grace, pulsing in Nubians of Plutonia mode. An uncanny blend of antique blackness and bright satellites, ethereal voices perfectly in tune; thanks to Ra's disciplined coaching (plus Modern Harmonic's expert re-mastering), their sweet dynamics and exact harmonics are crystal clear. Flute solo from Marshall Allen. Hearts swelling like the full moon, ripening in the darkness to the point of bursting.

            Sun Ra

            Outer Spaceways Incorporated - White / Purple Vinyl Edition

              THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE AND WILL ONLY BE AVAILABLE INSTORE ON THE DAY (SATURDAY APRIL 19th) AND LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

              IF THERE ARE ANY REMAINING COPIES THEY WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE ONLINE FROM SATURDAY APRIL 26th.


              On vinyl for the first time in over three decades, this limited edition Record Store Day release will feature a white and purple psychedelic color LP and exclusive cover art.
              .

              TRACK LISTING

              Somewhere There
              Outer Spaceways Incorporated
              Saturn
              Song Of The Sparer
              Spontaneous Simplicity

              Recorded live November 9th 1970 at Queen Elizabeth Hall in the South Bank Centre, "Live In London 1970" captures Ra and his many pals in full jazzprov mode. This was Sun Ra's first UK appearance, and he brought along fire eaters, golden robed dancers and 16 musicians. Tornadoes of percussion, eerie cello glissandi, ferocious blasts and tendrils of electronic sound from Ra's Farfisa organ and Moog syth all made this a bit of a free-jazz psychedelic happening. This double CD recording captures it all, if all in a little bit 'cassette recorder from the audience' lo-fi mode.


              Sun Ra

              Heliocentric Worlds Of Sun Ra Vol 1


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