Thunder of the Gods

Thunder of the Gods

by Sun RaSun Ra

CD

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Overview

The 2017 release Thunder of the Gods contains three previously unreleased Sun Ra recordings originating from the late '60s and early '70s. The first side is a 23-minute portion of a performance at Slug's Saloon in New York, where the Arkestra held an 18-month weekly residence. They start off with "Calling Planet Earth," beginning with an intergalactic cry before tumbling into freewheeling cosmic improvisation. The performance was captured with two microphones placed at either end of the stage, and while it's such a simple recording setup, it goes a long way in preserving the subtleties and nuances in the musicians' performances. Eventually it segues into "We'll Wait for You" (which, like "Calling Planet Earth," featured in Sun Ra's film Space Is the Place), with June Tyson's booming voice ecstatically delivering Ra's celestial poetry. After another period of full-band fury, Ra plays a synthesizer solo that gradually becomes heavier and louder, verging on harsh noise and filled with mind-twisting manipulations. The entire performance is fascinating, and an excellent summation of the live powers of both the Arkestra and Ra as an individual. The other two selections on the disc are mono studio recordings taken from the same period as the Strange Strings album, so named because Ra provided the musicians with stringed instruments that they were unfamiliar with. He instructed them to start playing, but not how or what to play. As such, it's some of the most challenging music produced by the Arkestra, filled with atonal scraping, clawing, scratching, clattering, and slapping. Fascinating stuff for hardcore fans, but for most other listeners, the first half of the album is more likely to be played more than once.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/07/2017
Label: Modern Harmonic
UPC: 0090771802125
catalogNumber: 21

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sun Ra   Primary Artist,Organ,Strings,Drums,Moog Synthesizer
John Gilmore   Strings,Tenor Saxophone
Marshall Allen   Strings,Oboe,Piccolo,Alto Saxophone
Ronnie Boykins   Bass,Viola,Dutar
Clifford Jarvis   Percussion
Robert Cummings   Strings
Ahk Tal Ebah   Trumpet
Kwame Hadi   Trumpet
Ali Hassan   Strings,Trombone
Lex Humphries   Drums
Carl Nimrod   Strings
Eloe Omoe   Bass,Clarinet,Flute
Pat Patrick   Strings,Baritone Saxophone
Charles Stevens   Trombone
June Tyson   Vocals
Alzo Wright   Cello
James Jacson   Flute,Strings,Oboe,Log Drums
Art Jenkins   Strings
Danny Davis   Clarinet,Strings,Alto Saxophone

Technical Credits

Sun Ra   Composer
Chesley Bonestell   Cover Art
Michael D. Anderson   Tape Archivist
Jon Hunt   Art Direction
Christopher Eddy   Liner Notes
Jay Millar   Organ Curator

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