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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Sun Ra and Arkestra live in 1966 22 Aug. 2002
By Mwinyi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This Sun Ra release contains a live recording from 1966. The Arkestra was recorded during a one-week tour of NY state colleges, which they did together with some other musicians. The cd is an Italian reissue of the original ESP disk. It contains eight pieces, which is quite a lot for Sun Ra, considering that the cd has a playing time of 40 minutes. Maybe it is this that causes the music to sound not as 'far out' as some of the later live recordings, especially from beginning seventies.
This recording has everything that makes Ra's music so attractive: heavy rhythms, exotic atmospheres, good solo's, some collective improvisation and some chants.
Musicians playing in this Arkestra are among others: John Gilmore, Pat Patrick, Marshall Allen and Clifford Jarvis.
A very enjoyable live recording of mr. Ra, maybe one of the best to get first.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Sun Ra and his band from outer space will entertain you now 3 Oct. 2004
By A Music Fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This brief (about 40 minutes) but extremely satisfying disc features performances from a tour of New York State colleges in 1966. The Arkestra's top guns, John Gilmore, Marshall Allen and Pat Patrick are all present for duty and loaded for bear. Three lengthy pieces make up the bulk of the recording. On the first track, "Dancing Shadows," Gilmore wastes no time proving that he ranks among the all-time great tenor saxophonists as he delivers a brawny, take-no-prisoners solo. Beginning with a rhythmic figure, Gilmore goes on to develop a wide range of ideas, sqealing and honking, building momentum and excitement and swinging hard all the way, finally ending the solo with a long, piercing shriek. Whew! On "Exotic Forest," Marshall Allen's oboe weaves around and through the the throbbing, atmospheric haze of the bass and drums. Incidentally, although the jacket credits only one trap drummer,there are two--Clifford Jarvis and a second, uncredited one--Ra discographer Robert L. Campbell thinks it's Jimmy Johnson or Roger Blank. Baritone saxophonist Pat Patrick is featured on "Shadow World," followed by an arco bass solo from Ronnie Boykins and a terse keyboard statement from Sonny himself. The three long pieces are interspersed with a variety of shorter ones, which include brief musical interludes, vocal chants and spoken poetry. The recording quality is pretty good, although the drums nearly overpower the horns occasionally, and the voices are a bit faint sometimes, but that's a minor quibble. This is probably not the best place for newcomers to jump into Sun Ra's extensive catalog, but once you've got a few of the Evidence and Delmark discs from the 1950's, this one is a worthy addition. Recommended, especially for Gilmore fans.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Inspired live album 7 Jun. 2004
By Chet Fakir - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The playing and compositions on this album are very good. Great sax work from John Gilmore and an excellent oboe workout from Marshall Allen. Superb ensemble playing from a large band playing some freaky and complicated pieces. What at first appears to be chaotic free improvisations in some places are actually very complex compositions. The music is at times almost meditative, at others bop-like (or acid-bop) and at other times a wall of in your face noise. My only complaint is that the sound quality could be better. Its not that bad and for a live album of the time it's perfectly acceptable but... Sun Ra was a genius and a great eccentric. Read his biography "Space is the Place" to find out just how odd a man he was (more of a cult or religious leader than a band leader) and how truly dedicated he was to music. One of Ra's most accessible albums from the 1960's.
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