Le Sun Ra And His Arkestra: Le Sun Ra (piano), James Scales (alto saxophone), Pat Patrick (alto & baritone saxophones), John Gilmore (tenor saxophone), Charles Davis (baritone saxophone), Art Hoyle (trumpet), Julian Priester (trombone), Victor Sproles (bass), Wilburn Green (electric bass), William Cochran, Robert Barry (drums), Jim Herndon (tympani, timbales).
Producers: Ihnfinity, Inc., Alton Abraham.
Reissue producer: Jerry Gordon.
Recorded in the RCA Studios, Chicago in 1956. Originally released on El Saturn Records (216). Includes liner notes by Tom Moon.
All songs written by Sun Ra except "Soft Talk" (Julian Priester).
It's hard to believe that Sun Ra had arrived from Saturn (actually Alabama), and was leading his Arkestra as early as the 1950s. In fact, '56's SUPER-SONIC JAZZ is one of a few releases proving that Ra had formed his renowned ensemble and developed his utterly unique aesthetic by that time.
Although Ra's music here isn't nearly as avant-garde as it would become, the composer/keyboardist is already intent on taking the big-band vibe of Duke Ellington into outer space, as revealed on some of these 12 stellar tracks. The sax-led "Sunology" (featuring Arkestra mainstay John Gilmore) is fairly straightforward nightclub-style jazz, while "Super Blonde" coasts along on a tight bass groove, with only a little dissonance seeping into the tune. "Advice to Medics," however, is where the sci-fi tendencies start to become apparent, with Ra cruising along the keys of his electric piano like he's preparing to launch into orbit. For those interested in the formative stages of Ra's music, this album is essential.
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Jazz