:::Strange Celestial Road:::

Posted: Wednesday, 4 August 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The band Sun Ra had at the end of the '70s was surely the funkiest he ever had, with electric bassist Steve Clarke (in tandem with upright player Richard Williams) and the twin guitars of Taylor Richardson and Skeeter McFarland. This is the band that recorded the infamous On Jupiter album, and the slightly different band lineup for Sleeping Beauty (recorded just two weeks later) suggests that Strange Celestial Road was recorded between the two, based on the hybrid band lineup. "Celestial Road" kicks things off, where electric bass, arco bass and wah-wah guitar set the stage for a great June Tyson vocal and then solos from John Gilmore, Michael Ray, Sun Ra, and Damon Choice on vibes. "Say" has a great electric bassline and joyous horn charts, and swings mightily with a vaguely Latin rhythm. There's a fine electric guitar solo, as well as some more fantastic playing from Gilmore. Ra's keyboard sounds and soloing are particularly deranged on this album, but never get into the purely noisy realm. "I'll Wait for You" is the real treat of this album, featuring a great mellow groove and wonderful ensemble vocals led by the beautiful June Tyson. There's plenty of fine soloing on this track as well, but the main attraction is the mix by Ra and Michael Ray. There's a dub-like element to the way the instruments and voices are treated and mixed in and out, but this is dub by way of Saturn, and the mix is at least as weird and wonderful as anything Lee Perry has done. This is an overlooked album in an unwieldy discography, but it's a real gem and the fact that it's on the Rounder label should make it easier to find than many of the Arkestra's other albums. Recommended.
:::Review by Sean Westergaard:::

Sun Ra - Strange Celestial Road (1980)

1. Celestial Road 7:03
2. Say 12:10
3. I'll Wait For You 16:05

Bass - Richard Williams, Steve Clarke
Drums - Luqman Ali , Reg McDonald
French Horn - Vincent Chancey
Guitar - Skeeter McFarland , Taylor Richardson
Keyboards - Sun Ra
Percussion - Artaukatune
Reeds - Danny Ray Thompson , Eloe Omoe , Hutch Jones , James Jacson , John Gilmore , Kenny Williams , Marshall Allen , Noel Scott , Sylvester Baton
Trombone - Craig Harris, Tony Bethel
Trumpet - Curt Pulliam , Michael Ray , Walter Miller
Vibraphone [Vibes] - Damon Choice , Harry Wilson
Vocals - June Tyson , Rhoda Blount

3 komentarze:

  1. Anonymous says:

    wow i can't wait to hear this! thanks!

  1. mrG says:

    I have lost count of the number of people I have turned on to Sun Ra's Space-fire Solar-Myth philosophies via this record. Along with Cosmos and Lanquidity, these three are Sun Ra's most potent, virtually irresistible to anyone under the age of 50; those older are best started on Sun Song or Supersonic, but for those who were teens in the 70's and 80's, it's these. For the sk8rboi crowd, however, it seems to be more Nuclear War, tho I wonder if its the music, the message or just the four-letter words although, hey, when you are casting your nets to real in humanity to the truth, I guess you have to try all sorts of angles to get their attention :)