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When Angels Speak of Love


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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic transitional piece 10 Feb. 2001
By C. Moon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
First off, if you do not already own Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy/Art Forms...that would be my first pick before this one, however, When Angels Speak of Love captures the arkestra half way between their big band origins and the all out otherness of pieces like Magic City, Atlantis, etc. Most of the instrumentation here is traditional with the exception of the echo effect, and at times this album might seem closer to a 'free jazz' album than a Sun Ra album. Nonetheless, no fan of Sun Ra will be dissapointed, and this might be a good entry point for fans of Ornette or Coletrane to break into the Sun Ra experience. Its also worth noting that it is good from time to time to hear another solid album from the Arkestra where Sun Ra is still playing piano instead of keyboards. What we have hear is a really very challenging album, but because it has been done organically, it may perhaps seem more conventional, but this is not true. Sun Ra found many ways to manifest his ideas of music. This is just one particular variation upon that theme. Fantastic stuff!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This CD Keeps Paying Off 6 Mar. 2005
By Mojave Fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
On the Sun Ra spectrum, this certainly leans towards the "free" end; and at first it was a bit off-putting for me because it truly pushes the boundaries of musical cohesion. Now however, I think it is my favorite Arkestra effort.

Over time, I find myself going back to this over and over. Once you crack it and get a feel for what this group is saying, it becomes very soul-nourishing (I am assuming you already have been exposed to the open-ended free-jazz genre) and rewarding.

Yeah, he was an eccentric, but if you give this one time and approach it with an open mind, what they are doing begins to work its magic. It is about love. It means something. If you can take spiritual pleasure from this kind of music, then this CD is excellent. It doesn't really work if you want to hear a restatement of jazz form; rather it works as a statement of how this group feels, and why the music matters so much to them. For that, I love it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Tasty. Very tasty. 3 Aug. 2001
By Anthony D'Averso - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
What strikes me most about this early 60's Sun Ra album is how the horn playing is not so much dissonant as it is like whalesong played strenuously from somewhere beyond space and time. Then there is the slightly off-kilter percussion even on the ballad and the organic feel of this all acoustic (with reverb) set derived from rehersals. A sounscape piece followed by a bebop then a percussive piece. Then a ballad and a longform free piece. Yet they all sound like variations on a theme. It's charming more than anything. Five stars for that reason. Look elsewhere for the most far out Ra you have ever heard, but look here for yet another Sun Ra album with personality.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating, Evocative 60's Sun Ra 28 Feb. 2002
By Timothy Dougal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This album was recorded between Sun Ra's incomparable "Cosmic Tones For Mental Therapy" and the equally incomparable "Magic City". If it's not quite the masterpiece of absolute music that those two albums are, it is nonetheless an intriguing, compelling work. "When Angels Speak Of Love" is somewhat more conservative, recognizable as jazz, or jazz-derived, much of the time, but unusually fluid, often leaving me wondering at the end of a piece exactly how a piece got from there to here, so varied are the structures that are generated. For this reason it can benefit from repeated listenings in a single sitting. Elements on this album, not so obvious on the other discs mentioned above, include quite a bit of furiously virtuousic, occasionally Scriabinesque, piano work by Sun Ra, and one of the more amusing or annoying features of many Sun Ra albums (depending on your point of view), a space chant, which is mercifully short. The title tune is particularly unusual, sounding something like what Messaien might have done if he composed jazz ballads, so neurotically mystical is it. This CD is a definite keeper.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Before his time! 31 Oct. 2003
By Mike Finch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Need I say more. He gives his view of the universe not through the eyes of a traditional religious man, but through the eyes of a man who let the true connection between he and the creator shine through. We are just begining to have that sort of true connection wide spread throughout the world.
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