SUN RA: Music from Tomorrow's World
From the Unheard Music series, a luminous document from formative period of the Arkestra while they were resident at the Wonder Inn in Chicago (1960). There are 7 tracks from there and 10 from a concert at Majestic Hall (also Chicago) in the same year. The band for both includes Gilmore, Allen and Boykins but the rest of the lineup changes. There are 6 players at the Wonder Inn and 8 at the Majestic. The recording at the Wonder Inn (the stuff of legend and long thought lost) has a fabulous open, relaxed quality, rough but clear. You can hear the room, and a time separate from the playing (I'm not going to try to explain that). Material includes Ra compositions and two Gershwin Songs - and great audience and bar ambience. Serious Ra fans need this recording.The Majestic sound is fuller and more lush (as are the band arrangements) with more Ra originals. It's less experimental and more of a performance. And it's more safely jazz too, great soloing but less of the radical strangeness of the Wonder Inn. With thorough, informed and exemplary booklet notes by John Corbett. An important document.