COMPOSERS: Sun Ra and His Arkestra
ALBUM TITLE: Sun Ra Singles
WORKS: The Definitive 45s Collection
PERFORMER: Sun Ra and his Arkestra, including Sun Ra (keyboards), Marshall Allen, John Gilmore (saxophone) et al
CATALOGUE NO: Strut148CD (2discs)
Strut continues its mapping of the Sun Ra universe with this extraordinary collection. Beginning with his work with vocal groups then progressing to the output of the Arkestra, these CDs chart an alternative course through one of the most prolific discographies
in the history of recorded music. Ra’s singles were often pressed in just double-figure quantities for sale at live performances, so to have them available at all, let alone chronologically ordered and annotated as carefully as possible given their obscurity, is a joy. The most enlightening items are transitional in nature, such as where his piano accompaniments start to take on their own wayward harmonic rules or his adoption of the synthesizer – but not, it seems, its instruction manual.
Expert salvage work has produced excellent sonic results and, as with previous Sun Ra material on Strut, a visit to strut-records.com will give you various format options.