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Sun Ra: At The Showcase (Live In Chicago, 1976-1977)

Sun Ra: At The Showcase (Live In Chicago, 1976-1977)
Embark on a cosmic odyssey with Sun Ra and his Arkestra as they unveil At the Showcase Live in Chicago 1976-1977, a celestial offering dripping with mystique and intrigue. This transcendent collection not only unveils previously unreleased tracks but also grants access to the legendary Showcase Lounge, overseen by the venerable Joe Segal. Complemented by a captivating booklet featuring insights from Marshall Allen and reflections from jazz luminaries like David Murray and Matthew Shipp, this album becomes a veritable treasure trove for aficionados of the cosmic jazz realm.

Sun Ra, the enigmatic jazz maestro hailing from another dimension, leads his Arkestra through a sonic odyssey that defies conventional musical boundaries. With his keyboards emitting eerie tones ranging from Jimi Hendrix-esque wails to the spectral ambiance of Disney's Haunted Mansion, Ra conjures an ethereal experience that transports listeners to uncharted realms faster than you can say "Beam me up."

The galactic journey commences with the ethereal strains of "New Beginning," setting the stage for Sun Ra's visionary compositions and the Arkestra's improvisational prowess. Tracks like "Synthesis Approach" highlight Ra's mastery of otherworldly sounds, blending toy organ-like tones with blazing horns, all propelled by the ensemble's telepathic musical rapport. It is akin to a sonic whirlwind while riding an interplanetary rollercoaster. However, treasures like "Ankhnaton" truly elevate this album to cosmic heights, with Michael Ray's trumpet soaring to celestial realms like a musical SpaceX rocket. Each member of the Arkestra, from John Gilmore's hypnotic sax to Marshall Allen's ethereal flute, contributes to the rich sonic tapestry that defines this transcendent experience.

The live recordings on the second CD immerse listeners in the heart of the interstellar spectacle, with audience chants and playful banter adding to the cosmic celebration. While a few tracks may lose their initial luster upon repeated listens, the 17-minute avant-garde jazz opus "Calling Planet Earth & The Shadow World" looms as a pulsating highlight, igniting the senses with its frenetic energy. It is like being caught in a musical wormhole, unsure if one will emerge on the other side with sanity intact.

Credit is due to Zev Feldman's Jazz Detective label for unearthing these cosmic gems, ensuring that Sun Ra's luminous legacy continues to shine brightly across the vast expanse of musical history. At the Showcase Live in Chicago 1976-1977 is a portal beckoning listeners to journey beyond the confines of ordinary musicality and explore the boundless reaches of the cosmic expanse. So strap in, jazz cadets, and prepare for liftoff into the unknown!

Track Listing

CD1: New Beginning; View From Another Dimension; Synthesis Approach; Ankhnaton; Rose Room; Moonship Journey; Velvet. CD2: Calling Planet Earth & The Shadow World; Theme of the Stargazers; Space is the Place; Ebah Speaks in Cosmic Tongue; Greetings from the 21st Century.


Sun Ra
John Gilmore
saxophone, tenor
Marshall Allen
saxophone, alto
Danny Davis
Eloe Omoe
clarinet, bass
Danny Thompson
saxophone, baritone
Michael Ray
Vincent Chancey
french horn
Dale Williams
guitar, electric
Luqman Ali
Eddie Thomas
James Jacson
June Tyson
Elo Omoe
saxophone, alto
Danny Ray Thompson
saxophone, baritone
Richard Allen Williams
bass, acoustic
Additional Instrumentation

Sun Ra: Electric Keyboards. Marshall Allen: Alto Sax; Flute; Kora. Elo Omoe: Bass Clarinet. Danny Ray Thompson: Flute. Vincent Chancey: French Horn. Eddie Thomas : Vocal. James Jacson: Ancient Ihnfinity drum; oboe. Atakatune: Congas.

Album information

Title: At The Showcase (Live In Chicago, 1976-1977) | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Jazz Detective

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