Sun Song [Delmark]

Sun Song [Delmark]

by Sun RaSun Ra

Vinyl LP(Long Playing Record)

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This essential title is also available under the moniker of Sun Song (1956). Regardless of name, this long-player contains some of Sun Ra's most complex, yet accessible efforts. Ra had been an active performer since the late 1940s, recording with his various combos or "Arkestra(s)" as Ra dubbed them. Since this was the first widely distributed platter that the artist cut, it is often erroneously referred to as his debut. The tracks were documented by then-unknown Tom Wilson. If the name rings a bell, it may be because Wilson would go on to produce such rock luminaries as Frank Zappa, Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, and the Velvet Underground, among others. Ra's highly arithmetical approach to bop was initially discounted by noted jazz critic Nat Hentoff as "repetitious," with phrases "built merely on riffs with little development." In retrospect, however, it is obvious there is much more going on here. Among the musical innovations woven into the up-tempo "Brainville" and "Transition," are advanced time signatures coupled with harmonic scales based on Ra's mathematical equations. Not to be missed is the lush elegance within the delicate, if not intricate arrangements heard on "Possession," as well as the equally involved "Sun Song" -- both of which take on an air of sophistication in their deceptive simplicity. Ra's original LP jacket comments can be found within the liner notes of the Sun Song compact disc. This is noteworthy as one of the rare occasions that Sun Ra sought to explain not only his influences, but his methods of composition and modes of execution as well. As referred to above, Jazz by Sun Ra is arguably the most accessible work in the Sun Ra catalog, as well as one of the most thoroughly and repeatedly listenable.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/27/1998
Label: Delmark
UPC: 0038153041113
catalogNumber: 411
Rank: 33110

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sun Ra   Primary Artist,Organ,Piano,Electric Piano,Track Performer
John Gilmore   Percussion,Tenor Saxophone,Blocks
Julian Priester   Trombone,Chimes
Richard Evans   Bass,Drums
Robert Barry   Drums,Bells
Wilburn Green   Electric Bass,Bass Guitar,Tambourine
James Herndon   Timbales,Bells,Timpani
Arthur Hoyle   Trumpet,Bells
Pat Patrick   Baritone Saxophone,Bells
James Scales   Alto Saxophone
Dave Young   Trumpet
Jim Herndon   Percussion,Timpani
David Young   Trumpet,Bells

Technical Credits

Robert G. Koester   Executive Producer
Sylvia Abernathy   Cover Design
Richard L. Evans   Composer

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