Sun Ra - Sun Embassy
In 1968, cosmic maestro Sun Ra and his Arkestra moved to Philadelphia where they would set up shop until his death in 1993. During this time, the Arkestra was in the midst of their most fertile period. They began touring heavily around the US (most notably on the West Coast in 1968) as well as France, Germany and the UK. The band became known as the Astro Infinity Arkestra (or here the “Ihnfinity-Arkestra”) and they produced some of the most boundless, far-reaching and experimental music of their career. There’s no doubt Sun Ra confounded many, even during the late 60s when the idea of the avant-garde was more acceptable than at any other time.
Sun Ra was fearless and uncompromising. This modus-operandi didn’t always work out but when it comes to absorbing the music of Sun Ra during this time, it’s always a challenge; good or bad. With Sun Embassy, a set of completely unreleased music from ‘68-’69, we get adventurous pieces of music with new perspectives on his songwriting. There’s new takes and a reworking of two of his 1950’s compositions, (“Sunology” and “Ancient Aiethiopia”), and six cuts of completely new music. One of these is “The Stranger;” a percussive and middle-eastern influenced tone-poem with Marshall Allen improvising on the soprano sax. It’s almost half-baked in its movements but it’s hard to deny the other-worldliness and hazy allure that the song achieves. And there’s plenty more where that came from. Look past the clip-arty looking cover art and take Sun Embassy on. Prime era Sonny-stuff here. (Dom)
Check out a track here.