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Sun Ra

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Sun Ra and his Arkestra, Super Sonic Sounds. Impulse AS 9271. . Foï nearly twenly years now Sun Ra bas been producing, recording, and distributing his own records on the Saturo label, allowing a maximum of artistic freedom bul minimum financial return. His recent Impulse contract should go ;t long way towards solving i his dilemma. Luckily Impulse is a cotnpany with sume degree of integiïty. Rather than promote Sun Ra as "The Glitter King of Jazz" of demand ihat his music conform to some streamlined, profit-motivated aesthetic (Yes I'm talking abput CTI). they have cbosen to reissue the original Saturn reeordings completely intact. "Super-Sonic Sounds" is the latest of these reissues and in many ways the most important. Originally relcased circa 1956 tliis album along with "Sun Song" and "Sound of Joy" (Delmark DS 411, 414) is the best example of Sun Ra's early "demented bop" period. At first the music may sound Üke 50 s bop but listen again. In the words of a music-professor friend, "It's so corny, but it's so hip!" Many of the riffs and melodies do sound corny especially to a 1974 set of ears, but the harmonies, colors, rhythms, and hom-voicings are definitely hip, definitely ahead of their time. This record comes closer to answering the question, "What should music beV than any other Tve lieard to date. It is emotional. adventurous, and challenging yet dominated by a playful sense of humor that comes trom the Arkestras' masteiy as individual inusicians and unity as an ensemble. Behind it all is Sonny Blount, the Fletcher Heriderson alumnus better-known as Sun Ra. whose lyrickeyboard mustngs will suddenly erupt info percussíve angular Unes which seem to expand in all directions at once hefore remming to the quiet that preceded. Yes, this is definitely MUSIC, to bc perceived and understood on many levels. For those A - Festival-goers who have dug the visual spectacle of Sun Ra's show, . this historie recording should help you make sense out of the audio portion. Give this one half a chance and you'll probably end up like me: l've been playing "Super-Sonic Sounds" at least once a week for the past six years and it's a new album every time.