Sun Ra - Lanquidity
Label: Philly Jazz Inc.
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
180 gram reissue 6/27/08
original released 1978
Style: Free Jazz
A1 Lanquidity 8:19
A2 Where Pathways Meet 6:30
A3 That's How I Feel 8:09
B1 Twin Stars Of Thence 9:30
B2 There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of) 10:58
Bass - Richard Williams
Bassoon, Flute, Oboe - James Jacson
Clarinet [Bass], Flute - Ego Omoe
Congas [Congo Drums], Timpani - Artaukatune
Guitar - Dale Williams , Disco Kid
Percussion - Luqman Ali , Michael Anderson Producer - Sun Ra
Saxophone [Alto], Oboe, Flute - Marshall Allen
Saxophone [Baritone] - Julian Presley
Saxophone [Baritone], Flute - Danny Thompson
Saxophone [Tenor] - John Gilmore
Trumpet - Eddie Gale
Trumpet, Flugelhorn - Michael Ray
Vocals [Ethnic Voices] - Edde Tahmahs , James Jacson , June Tyson , Sun Ra
This 1978 session, coming relatively late in Sun Ra's creative history, is another extraordinary venture into uncharted musical terrain. As the name suggests, it's a liquid and languid musical state, from the lounge area of Ra's cosmos, but it can also be resiliently funky and subtly dissonant in ways unheard outside the orchestra's precincts. The rhythm section of electric bass, two guitars, and three drummers creates deep pulsing grooves for Sun Ra's assortment of ethereal organs and synthesizers and a horn complement of two trumpets and five reeds that are used sparingly for maximal effect. There are some elements of commercial crossover funk and even Miles Davis's electric period, but this is highly original music, an acid jazz prototype in which groove and electronica intersect with muted brass and a heady assortment of reeds and percussion. Sudden squiggles of funk guitar mix with strong improvisation from Sun Ra and his regular soloists, like saxophonists John Gilmore and Marshall Allen, who are always ready to bend the music into some new pitch zone. The lyrical title track bears a resemblance to Mingus's "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," and "There Are Other Worlds" is supplemented by overdubbed "Ethnic Voices" and additional percussion and electronics, creating an eerily engaging tapestry. Recorded in a New York studio with the sound further improved by Evidence, this is unusually well recorded for Sun Ra music of the period, a warm bath in music both lush and exotic.
It's a great record that puts Ra's harmonic beauty and innovation over a laid-back "Quiet Storm" groove. It's like nothing else I've heard, quite, and it sounds entirely like 1978 to me. I've read some blockheaded reviews elsewhere that dismissed this album as watered-down Ra. It's not watered-down; it's transplanted. If you like moody R&B, or you like slowly unfolding music ala Miles Davis or Jon Hassell, or you like Sun Ra and his lovely interplanetary harmonies, you will enjoy this album.
When Carl Sagan pondered the possibility of life elsewhere in the solar system, he conjured up creatures such as a hot-air balloon-sized flying jellyfish that would float through Jupiter's blistering atmosphere propelled by sulfurous discharges. Sun Ra operates on a similar wavelength, apparently attempting to recreate what musical instruments would sound like on other worlds. "Lanquidity" is the most repeatedly listenable Ra release I've encountered (The title track for "The Magic City," for instance, an album released 13 years earlier in 1965 sounds much like a construction site hooked up to a loudspeaker) and one that easily holds its own beside Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew," Art Blakey's "Free for All" and Sonny Sharrock's "Ask the Ages." The meandering Hammond, droning horns, and occasional whale-speak and duck-honk effects give the set a malleable, dreamy complexion. "There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of)" feels like a combo LSD deprogramming session and love-in taking place inside a robotic whale adrift in the deep ocean. Some of the songs even suggest a contemporary trip-hop vibe, then abruptly zoom ahead back into the future and eventually steps outside time's bounds, just looking back at the one-dimensional timeline, nothing more than a stray slug's slime trail. Like music that makes you jabber like you're Carlos Castaneda? Then this is the one.
Sun Ra - Languidity
From the album of the same name. A languid, at times haunting piece of space-jazz for late nights. The picture features the intriguing calabash nebula.
R.I.P. to the great man and bless him on whatever cosmic wave he's riding, Sun Ra was truly original.
Sun Ra and His Arkestra ~ There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told you
amazing track... sampled this for Sunday Sample #74, along with a bunch of other producers...
Sun Ra - That's how I feel
Sun Ra - Where Pathways Meet