Boomkat Product Review:
Strut and Marshall Allen cast a knowing net over Sun Ra’s unfathomable oeuvre on what would have been his 100th birthday, charting far-flung coordinates from a 25 year slice of intrepid, cosmic jazz exploration - includes peerless gear in the deep space enigma of ‘Astro Black’, amazing early drum machine patter on ‘Dance of the Cosmo-Aliens’, a bone-deep cut ‘Angels and Demons at Play’, and big band music from other planets on ‘Solar Differentials’
““Sun Ra said he came from Saturn, because white America treated him like an alien, like a creature from outer space, so he became one, an anarcho-emperor of the fantastic, who made it to the moon before America or Russia, because the moon was nowhere near as far out as he could really go.“ – Paul Morley
Strut and Art Yard join forces for a special release to mark what would have been Sun Ra’s 100th birthday with ’In The Orbit Of Ra’, a new collection presented by the longest serving member of the Arkestra and current bandleader, Marshall Allen. Bringing together Ra highights from over 25 years of music, the album is the first internationally released compilation to provide an introduction to the music of Sun Ra, mastered from the original tapes with extended and unreleased tracks.
In addition to the track selection, the release features recollections and contributions from some of the core Arkestra line-up including Marshall Allen, Michael Ray, Knoel Scott and Danny Ray Thompson. For the music, the selection takes us through the huge variety and intricacy of the Arkestra’s work covering the ‘60s to early ‘80s, from the celestial blues of ‘Spontaneous Simplicity’ and ‘Plutonian Nights’ to the urgent jazz of ‘Rocket Number Nine Take Off For Planet Venus’ and ‘Dance Of The Cosmo Aliens’. The album features an exclusive previously unreleased Sun Ra track from the Art Yard archives, the acoustic ‘Trying To Put The Blame On Me’ recorded live in Rome in 1977, along with a previously unreleased Part 1 of ‘Reflects Motion’ from 1962 and an unheard extended version of ‘Island In The Sun’ from the late ‘60s.”