Boomkat Product Review:
Sun Ra: piano; John Gilmore: tenor sax; Marshall Allen: alto sax; Pat Patrick: baritone sax; Robert Cummings: baritone clarinet; Teddy Nance: trombone; Ali Hassan: trombone; Clifford Jarvis: drums; Ronnie Boykins: bass, tuba; James Jackson: log drum, flute; Carl Nimrod: sun horn, gong.
"The 1965 sessions that produced the original two volumes of Heliocentric Worlds came during the most extremely free-form period of Ra's career, contemporaneous with The Magic City (Saturn Records). Volume 1, recorded in April with an 11-member band, consists of seven relatively short tracks (none over eight minutes); these tracks find Sun Ra breaking ground by using synthesizers and having the Arkestra musicians double on percussion. Recorded in November with an octet, Volume 2, in contrast, was much freer and featured the side-long "The Sun Myth" and the 15-minute "Cosmic Chaos."
The horn players and legendary bassist Ronnie Boykins have plenty of room to stretch out and take full advantage. "A House of Beauty" offers five minutes of relatively lyrical respite between the other tracks. When ESP-Disk' resumed issuing new releases in 2005, Sun Ra archivist Michael D. Anderson resurrected another five tracks from the November session to create Volume 3, featuring the powerful "Intercosmosis."
"...the two Heliocentric Worlds albums, both recorded in 1965, appeared on the iconoclastic ESP-Disk label, and propagated his music to a wider audience of listeners who were open to freakiness. Both volumes are improvisations by subgroups of the Arkestra (directed by Ra), and even at their most dissonant, they're playful and spacious — 'Dancing in the Sun' is off-the-cuff big-band swing. 'The Sun Myth' is a panoramic 18-minute fantasia in which two or three instruments at a time toss long, buzzing tones and high honks back and forth, then fall out of orbit again." – Douglas Wolk, #9 on Spin's "The Top 100 Alternative Albums of the 1960s