SUN RA — Astro Black

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SUN RA - Astro Black cover
3.96 | 4 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1973

Filed under Avant-Garde Jazz
By SUN RA

Tracklist

A1 Astro Black 10:59
A2 Discipline "99" 4:47
A3 Hidden Spheres 7:04
B a. The Cosmo-Fire, Part I 18:22
b. The Cosmo-Fire, Part II
c. The Cosmo-Fire, Part III

Total Time: 40:43

Line-up/Musicians

Sun Ra (Mini-Moog syn, e-vib, org);
Akh Tal Ebah (tp);
Lamont McClamb [Kwame Hadi] (tp);
Charles Stephens (tb);
Marshall Allen (as);
Danny Davis (as);
John Gilmore (ts, perc);
Danny Ray Thompson (bars);
Eloe Omoe (bcl);
Pat Patrick (mistro-cl);
Alzo Wright (vln, vla);
Ronnie Boykins (b);
Tommy Hunter (d);
Atakatume [Stanley Morgan] (cga);
Odun [Russell Branch] (cga);
Chica (cga);
Ruth Wright (voc);
June Tyson (voc)

About this release

Impulse! ‎– AS-9255 (US)

Recorded at El Saturn Studio, Chicago, Illinois, May 7, 1972

Thanks to snobb, js for the updates

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SUN RA ASTRO BLACK reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
Sun Ra’s “Astro Black” came out in the early 70s when Ra was still heavily immersed in electronic sounds, and still a few years away from his re-interest in performing big band charts. This is the version of Sun Ra that appeals to those who discovered his music via psychedelic rock and fusion. There isn’t a lot of ‘jazz’ per se on “Astro Black”, but there are plenty of imaginative dronish jams with signature Sun Ra sounds and approaches. There is no acoustic piano in site on this one, as Ra devotes himself to synthesizer, organ and electric piano, and conjures up plenty of exotic sounds with this set up. There is an odd sound mix on here that heavily favors Ra and bassist Ronnie Boykins, but in many ways this makes perfect sense in that its Boykins’ repeating bass lines and Ra’s persistent electronics that frame these songs. The horn players and percussionists are free to come and go, while Ra and Boykins provide a constant backdrop. All the tracks on here are good, but possibly the best is “Hidden Spheres”, which opens with a very well recorded African percussion ensemble laying down a heated groove before the rest of the band joins in.

“Astro Black” makes for a good addition to any Sun Ra collection. Its not one of his best, but far not near his worst. The way in which the bass is used to anchor every track makes this one unique in the Sun Ra discog. Those casual fans who prefer the electronic Sun Ra will want to get this too, there are plenty of other worldly sounds on here.

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