on 28 September 2007
It is quite easy to underrate free jazz ( as it is to overrate it), and many fail to look at the contemplative side of it, the eclectic side of it. The Sun Ra side of it.
When i heard this album my life was utterly changed. I had heard a little bit of Sun Ra before - heliocentric worlds,space is the place soundtrack- but until then it had all seemed a bit too minimalistic and frenetic. Soon I found that Sun Ra and his Arkestra live is a completely different planet altogether.
This particular album is long and needs a lot of concentration- 3 hours of unbelievable versatile afro-inspired harmony. Sometimes Ra plays his transcendently moogish solos which having flown into the ether give way to June Tyson's tunfeul voice or percussive polyrhythms, other times trad jazz played in a unique cosmic way takes centrestage. Occasionally Ra's intergalactic messianic philosophy- he claimed he came from Saturn- distracts one from the actual quality of the music, and occasionally mediocrity may irritate, but the incredible thing about live at myron's ballroom is the effect that Sun Ra has on the audience. They scream frantically all the way through- many have called him the biggest stage presence of the century.
It is up to you, take it or leave it, but it has altered the way I look at jazz, and ultimately, my life, and can best be described as " the best of Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Moondog, Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Trane, Albert Ayler, Pink Floyd and the saturnian vibe, all shoved in one".Thankyou.