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SUN RA: Heliocentric Worlds 1 & 2
Classic reissue of the signature pair of Sun Ra/Arkestra studio releases for the New York ESD label, recorded in Spring and Autumn of 1965 when, somehow, the band had got hold of some tympani and an impressive bass marimba. Ra plays the marimba, as well as tuned bongos, tymps (along with several other Arkestrans), piano, electric celeste and clavioline Ė thatís a very charismatic proto-synthesiser that was invented in France, in 1947. Bass clarinet, bass trombone and baritone sax join the contrabass at the low end, above them tenor and alto saxes, flute, trumpet, a regular trombone and miscellaneous percussion Ė with some impressive piccolo from Marshall Allen (who also handles the spirit cymbals). Made in Raís possibly most experimental period, this is a lesson in the disposition of timbres, the juxtaposition of styles and gestures, of episodic construction, contrasts and inspired abstraction. Beautifully mastered, itís a joy to listen to - and different every time. Brian Mortonís sleeve-notes muse generally and tell us little about the actual recordings and why they are so important but fortunately, you only have to listen.