Sun Ra – Sleeping Beauty

jacques bisceglia - june tyson, richard wilkinson, marshall royal, eloe omoe, sun ra - between paris and donaueschingen, 1970

This is the great late-night Sun Ra chillout album, released in 1979 for El Saturn Records, that you never knew about. The band had been working in a more groove-oriented setting off and on for over a year, as evidenced by the album Lanquidity, that you had an opportunity to hear in one of my earlier posts. Sleeping Beauty is truly a high point in an unwieldy discography, and something of an anomaly at the same time. There’s a good reason copies of this album go for several hundred dollars on the collector’s market, but it really deserves a proper release so more people can hear it. Too many good motives for posting exactly this album by Sun Ra. Outstanding!

As a synthesizer and electric keyboard player, Sun Ra ranks among one of the earliest and most radical pioneers. By the mid-1950s, he used a variety of electric keyboards, and almost immediately, he exploited their potential perhaps more than anyone, sometimes modifying them himself to produce sounds rarely if ever heard before. His live albums from the late 1960s and early 1970s feature some of the noisiest, most bizarre keyboard work ever recorded. Sun Ra’s music can be roughly divided into three phases, but his records and performances were full of surprises and the following categories should be regarded only as approximations.

 

 

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