The Sun Ra Arkestra was an amazing band that didn’t have the same recognition as the other Jazz artists who were experimenting in the mid fifties. Some so-called Jazz fans didn’t take Sun Ra serious enough because of the interstellar approach that he and his Arkestra presented themselves. You can learn more about Sun Ra and his beliefs by doing a simple search, if you really care about his ideals. If you are open-minded and concentrate on his music, as most “True” Jazz fans do, then your focus would be more on the high quality arraignments Sun Ra produced and how he opened up more avenue to explore. This 1959 album, “Jazz in Silhouette” is a real masterpiece, get it, if you dare!
About the album:
A fascinating recording of Sun Ra and his Arkestra in an early incarnation, 1958’s JAZZ IN SILHOUETTE features Ra’s complex, adventurous compositions in traditional bop and swing contexts. The opening “Enlightenment” has edgy piano accompaniment from Ra, and a Cuban rhythm outro, but its breezy melody is reminiscent of Duke Ellington circa his Okeh period. “Blues at Midnight” is an up-tempo bop number with outstanding solos from all members of the Arkestra. Complex themes (“Saturn”) and fractured blues (“Horoscope”) show qualities integral to the style Ra would develop in the following years. In particular, the drawn-out ensemble explorations of “Ancient Aiethopia”–which are infused with tribal percussion, flute, and chant-like themes–serve as a blueprint for the artist’s signature sound. This album is an excellent, accessible introduction to the music of Sun Ra, ideal for those who may be intimidated by Ra’s more challenging later work. Now that his seminal, self-released Saturn albums are back in print, we thought we’d offer you this 1958 classic, which mixes the straight-ahead ( Enlightenment ) and spacey ( Ancient Aiethiopia ) as only the late Sun Ra could. “One of the most important jazz records since the war.” – Penguin Guide…..Read More