289

Sun Ra Arkestra: It's After The End of The World

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Recorded live at the Donaueschingen Music and Berlin Festivals in 1970, this gem ideally captures Sun Ra and His Intergalactic (Research) Arkestra at its most otherworldly self. Individual and collective sounds reach for ears at times beyond human comprehension. The 21-member Arkestra is anchored by its leader captaining keyboards of various frequencies of inter-planetary communication and fresh audible sensations—from his Farfisa organ, “roc-si-chord,” “spacemaster,” Mini- Moog synthesizer, Hohner clavinet and electra, to acoustic piano. Soundscapes vary from Twilight Zone-ish scores (the Moog-heavy “Out in Space”) to African ritualistic percussive escapades (“Watusi”).

Ceremoniously opening with June Tyson’s heavily breathed words spoken as if serenaded from a tropical bird—“dream,” “blackness,” and lastly “a world” swirl into the rumbling and gathering of percussion, brass, and reeds. Flutes, oboe, and a modified bassoon (with a French horn mouthpiece!) performed by Leroy Taylor (aka Elo Omoe) create a modern classical orchestral atmosphere before the swinging beats of drums and trumpet-like scorching alto sax lines carry the momentum elsewhere.

A bass-driven piano introduces dozens of different meters performed on drums and percussion instruments of all shapes and sizes over the Egyptian march of “Watusi.” A near twenty-minute suite culminates in the closing “Duos,” featuring the avant alto sax vocabulary of Marshall Allen and Danny Davis followed by the burly baritone dialogue of Pat Patrick and Danny Thompson. One of the singular and unfortunate drawbacks are several abridged versions either subtly fading into segments or, as with “Duos,” more abruptly. Nonetheless, such a recording as this offers the next best thing to but a sampling of what it must have been like to experience the path that Ra offered his listeners in a live concert, perhaps the most uninhibited platform for his musical message.


Track Listing: 1. Strange Dreams/Strange Worlds/Black Myth... - 14:32 2. Black Forest Myth - 9:20 3. Watusi, Egyptian March - 2:41 4. Myth Versus Reality: The Myth/Science... - 18:12 5. Duos - 4:37

Title: It's After The End of The World | Year Released: 2004


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Incidentals CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Door Girl CD/LP/Track Review Door Girl
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "2nd Thoughts" CD/LP/Track Review 2nd Thoughts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "Of Tides" CD/LP/Track Review Of Tides
by John Eyles
Published: March 7, 2017
Read "Shifting Borders" CD/LP/Track Review Shifting Borders
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 5, 2017
Read "Life Compass On!" CD/LP/Track Review Life Compass On!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Untitled" CD/LP/Track Review Untitled
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "My Iris" CD/LP/Track Review My Iris
by Fiona Ord-Shrimpton
Published: February 18, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.