To be clear, the 1960s was really the beginning of the 21st century. Everything that had the blueprint for the future was in that case, including this release by Sun Ra, the famous jazz composer. It is a mixture of jazz and experimental sounds at its best. Does it still sound good nearly 60 years later? Let’s find out.
We begin with Bassism which has a lot of double bass playing and some unusual production and sounds on it for a jazz recording. The mesmerizing flute then enters with a great riff from that. This is a little unusual for a jazz recording, as though the whole thing was influenced by psychedelic drug use. It’s a far-out and amazing jazz listen though definitely good stuff.
Next is Of Sounds And Something Else which is a more traditionally structured and upbeat piece. It’s a great listen, rather similar to what Miles Davis or John Coltrane would do. It’s an outstanding jazz recording so far, and even if that “something else” here is unknown, it is still a great listen today. Pure and cleverly infectious music.
What’s That is a great piano-led jazz piece. It is an upbeat and slightly quirky number to listen to. The production and usage of the instruments here are really far out. It’s a short and sweet sort of listening experience, but very much almost in line with psychedelic music. Good stuff.
Where Is Tomorrow is a more straightforward jazz piece. This is so well done for jazz music that it never fails to be infectious or dull. The unusual flute here is rather wacky, sounding like something out of a Roger Moore James Bond film. Still, it is clever and listenable music by far. Short again, but a great compact listen.
Next is the unusual intro to The Beginning. It sounds a lot like something King Crimson would do and is a highly unusual structure and piece with instrumentation you normally would not hear in a jazz piece. The clarinet and supporting instrumentation are really quite good here. A nice and fresh effort. Very tripped out for jazz music. Some unusual melodies are here as well. It is never boring, a great and unusual listen.
After that is China Gate. It has a singer here and sings a strange set of lyrics for the piece. The supporting instrumentation is very much almost Chinese sounding, although this is supposed to be a piece fitting in with this jazz setting. A great and inventive effort by Sun Ra, definitely worth hearing. It has a reoccurring almost gong sound in it as well.
New Day begins with a bass riff, before leading into a quirky percussion set and a great melodic jazz piece. It is perfectly recorded and structured for the listener who likes jazz that is not traditional. It’s almost psychedelic and trance-like listening that it will catch your attention, more so than most music out there. Epic. The clarinets are weird. It fades out in a very low end and trippy fashion.
Tapestry From An Asteroid is next. It is surprisingly more traditional and normal for jazz music. A good listen and sounds like it would be the perfect thing to listen to, just after midnight. There is still a level of unusual sonic production here. A calm listen.
Next is Jet Flight. This is an ode to travel, and it sounds rather upbeat and frenetic in its pace. A nice listen to kick back and unwind to. The whole listening experience here is mint, and definitely worth your time and attention. The wind section here of trumpets and sax sounds odd, definitely odd.
Following is the groove of Looking Around. It is another odd-sounding and produced number for those who want to dance to Sun Ra’s music. Although this is not by any means a psychedelic rock album, it comes across like a psychedelic jazz album. Great stuff, and great to listen to as well. A good effort. The outro has a great bongo drum roll to finish it.
Space Jazz Reverie is the last piece on this album and is a little more traditional. Still, it is a great listen all the way through. We finish this album feeling very satisfied with the whole experience. There is still an unusual nature to the music here, but hey, it is welcome. An uptempo and consistent effort.
Being totally artistic and perfected in a psychedelic jazz sense, this album is a must-have for anyone who likes jazz, psychedelia, or a mixture of the two genres. It is also for those who like quirky listens. A great and consistent album nonetheless, and a must-have in your collection.
Psychedelic futurism is here.