Sun Ra, Lanquidity

Steve Smith

By Steve Smith

on 04.22.11 in Reviews


Sun Ra
An extremely rare Philadelphia session from this vividly garbed potentate and his Arkestra.

Virtually no one in jazz could ignore the influence of rock and funk in the '70s, not even this vividly garbed potentate from Saturn (by way of Alabama). In the '60s, Sun Ra concocted avant-garde jazz of extraterrestrial origin; late in the '80s, the keyboardist and bandleader would focus on reworking the swing canon. Between those two peaks came this once extremely rare Philadelphia session, in which the Arkestra's raucous lines were pinned to a driving backbeat and swept along by funky guitar riffs that might have been lifted from a blaxploitation film soundtrack.