Sun Ra's "Other Planes Of There" is without question one of the classic Arkestra albums, although it is somewhat idiosyncratic. Recorded in 1964, this disc sounds like a cross between the earlier big band stylings of "Jazz In Silhouette" and the later stellar journeys of "Heliocentric Worlds." The title track, "Other Planes Of There," is another classic avant-garde exploration in the tradition of "The Magic City" or "Atlantis," although it pre-dates both of those recordings. While it has opening and closing passages that explode with fury and power, the most enjoyable and interesting portions of this 22-minute flight are Ra's subtle, reflective piano improvisations in the passages featuring only the rhythm trio. There are also superb solos by Ra regulars John Gilmore on tenor sax and Marshall Allen on oboe. The title track is clearly the focal point of this album, but it is the other tracks that make this such a unique Arkestra recording. "Sound Spectra" is a multi-rhythmic composition featuring just five band members -- Ra, bassist Ronnie Boykins, trumpeter Walter Miller, and drummers Lex Humphries and Roger Blank -- which is exploratory yet remarkably stripped down. In stark contrast, the next two tracks, "Sketch" and "Pleasure," are straight-ahead quartet numbers with a standard rhythm trio -- the former featuring Gilmore, and the latter, a ballad, with Pat Patrick on baritone sax. It is strange, but also a real treat to hear Sun Ra play piano in this traditional hard bop setting. The CD concludes with "Spiral Galaxy," an eerie avant-waltz that returns to Ra's familiar (uncharted) territory. While "Other Planes Of There" is pretty accessible compared to other Sun Ra efforts, this music is not for everyone. However, if you are prepared to explore the rings of Saturn, this is a great place to start.