:::The Magic City:::

Posted: Thursday, 10 April 2008 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

The boundaries of Sun Ra's self-proclaimed "space jazz" underwent a transformation in the mid-'60s. The Magic City is an aural snapshot of that metamorphic process. Many enthusiasts and scholars consider this to be among Ra's most definitive studio recordings. Although the "city" in the album's title was thought to have been New York -- where the disc was recorded -- it is actually Ra's earthly birthplace of Birmingham, AL. The Magic City consists of four free jazz compositions: the album side-length title track, "The Shadow World," "Abstract Eye," and "Abstract I" - two variants of a common work. These pieces are essentially ensemble improvisations recorded live. Any direction from Ra, indicating the order of soloists for instance, would be given either through his playing or with hand signals. Sun Ra & His Solar Myth Arkestra took up residency in Manhattan's East Village in the early to mid-'60s.
Their neighbors included Pharaoh Sanders as well as Babatunde Olatunji. In fact, "The Shadow World," "Abstract Eye," and "Abstract I" were actually recorded in Olatunji's loft. The title track begins with weaving distant and frenetic lines from Ronnie Boykins (bass) and Ra (piano, clavoline), connected by intermittent eruptions from Roger Blank (drums). All the while, Marshall Allen's dreamlike piccolo randomly maneuvers through the sonic haze. The piece also contains an ensemble onslaught that abruptly contrasts with everything experienced up through that point. In the wake of the innately earthbound "Magic City" are three comparatively shorter pieces with subtle undercurrents that return Ra to space motifs. For example, the importance of sonic contrast defines "The Shadow World" by juxtaposing he lightly churning bass and cymbal into some surreal keyboard interjections from Ra. The Magic City also comes with an insightful liner notes essay from Ra scholar John F. Szwed, aiding in understanding the circumstances surrounding this piece of free jazz genius.
:::By Lindsay Planer:::

Sun Ra - The Magic City (1966)

1. The Magic City (27:24)
2. The Shadow World (10:59)
3. Abstract Eye (2:45)
4. Abstract "I" (4:01)

Arranged By, Composed By - Sun Ra
Artwork By - Don Bied
Bass - Ronnie Boykins
Clarinet [Bass] - Robert Cummings
Keyboards [Clavioline, Electronic Celeste], Piano, Marimba [Bass], Harp [Sun Harp], Percussion [Dragon Drum], Timpani - Sun Ra
Percussion - Jimmi Johnson , Roger Blank
Photography - Francis Ing
Producer - Alton Abraham
Saxophone [Alto] - Harry Spencer
Saxophone [Alto], Flute - Danny Davis
Saxophone [Alto], Flute, Oboe, Piccolo Flute - Marshall Allen
Saxophone [Baritone] , Flute, Timpani - Pat Patrick
Saxophone [Tenor] - John Gilmore
Trombone - Ali Hassan , Bernard Pettaway , Teddy Nance
Trumpet - Chris Capers , Walter Miller

Previously released on El Saturn in 1966.

4 komentarze:

  1. Thanks you so much for all this great music! If you ever need a drawing or illustration just give me a shout!

    Take care!


  1. jazzlover says:

    Hi Maciej,
    Thanks for a good word regarding my blog. I was thinking about your offer and went through your one. Then I come up with an idea that I could do a new jazz cycle called initially something like jazz puzzles (each element is connected to another one by, say artist or instrument or jazz style or whathever will cross my mind) and ask you kindly to draw some pictures for that. Thell me what you think? Regards. jazzlover

  1. Hey again!
    Not sure I completly follow your idea but if you can email me with more of your thoughts and Ill go through it. I don't know if I can make tons of drawings but Ill be happy to do something! write me at mkalymon @ gmail.com

    Take care and thanks again for a great blog!