Interesting for its clear ties to the bop and swing traditions that disappear in later sessions. In addition, there have been at least 8 posthumous releases to date. Exposed to new ideas on a daily basis, challenged to excel by competitors on the downtown scene, Sun Ra might not have considered his music "free," but he benefited from a community which respected and encouraged musical free-thinking. Side A tracks 1—4 consists of four performances from the marathon Chicago recording session. The arrangements featured various members of the Arkestra doubling on exotic percussion. One of about a dozen Arkestra albums compiled from recordings made at the Choreographer's Workshop Discogs list of albums featuring this recording location , Art Forms displays Sun Ra's increasing tendency to juxtapose stylistic incongruities on vinyl in the interests of showcasing his versatility—or accommodating restless attention spans perhaps his own. In Chicago, he was inspired by the music, African-American political activism and fringe movements, and Egyptian revival architecture in the city related:
In its lysergic abstractness, Cosmic Tones prefigures by a few years the outer dimensions of psychedelia which was inspired by psychosis-replicating chemicals , and foreshadows some of the wilder studio escapades of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. Sound of Joy -- Recorded ca. It lays out what Sunny had learned as a pianist, composer, bandleader, and arranger during his Chicago years and earlier growing up in Birmingham. Sunny was still in his Space Bop phase, although mystical overtones begin radiating through the jazz. Stressing his pan-galactic persona, Sun Ra was rapidly pushing jazz farther into the Space Age in his titles, as evidenced by this album's offerings. That's the preamble to this, a chronological list of Sun Ra's mainly studio releases, the vast majority of them now streaming on Bandcamp, broken down into his three most distinct periods, and listed by the initial original recording date some "albums" are compilations from various recording sessions ; additionally, unless indicated otherwise, the albums are attributed to "Sun Ra and his Arkestra"; also, the notes are pulled from Bandcamp album pages, where there are more details and notes to be found, unless there are other links in the descriptions: The three final tracks, each clocking in around five minutes, hint at Ra's elusive live performances After attending a year, he left the school, situated in the neighborhood of Normal the writers have been a bit too on the nose for a while; it's not a recent trend - ed. This digital collection includes the unreleased 45 rpm single version of "Lights on a Satellite," which features the engineer's title cue at the head followed by the album performance drenched in heavy reverb. Tracks 10 and 11 were added in later re-issues. Alternate versions of all seven tracks appeared on other Ra albums; a number of these titles became perennial club and concert favorites. Sun Ra's piano, some brass, and a quartet of saxophones compete for airspace with an arsenal of drums, congas and bongos, bells and cowbells, shakers and gongs a good deal of it handled by the reed section. Like most of these delayed releases, Holiday for Soul Dance was less a planned album than a collection of songs that fit thematically. These sessions produced tracks which without organizing logic achieved first commercial release on Saturn LPs throughout the s and '70s. Exposed to new ideas on a daily basis, challenged to excel by competitors on the downtown scene, Sun Ra might not have considered his music "free," but he benefited from a community which respected and encouraged musical free-thinking. Also included on this digital edition are four unreleased stereo recordings from the period: Per what had long been the bandleader's trademark, many titles point to destinations beyond Earth's stratosphere, while paradoxically echoing rhythms and forms inspired by Africa. New York years —68 - Sun Ra and the Arkestra moved to New York City in the fall of , where the Arkestra lived communally and practiced frequently. William Ruhlmann at AllMusic observed , "Sun Ra's music is often described as being so far outside the jazz mainstream as to be less a challenge to it than a largely irrelevant curiosity. In , they secured a regular Monday night gig at Slug's Saloon , where their audience was both members of the beat generation and early psychedelic fans. Bad and Beautiful -- the first album recorded in New York by Sun Ra after he arrived from Chicago with a small contingent of the Arkestra in , consisting of four Sun Ra originals and three standards. The album finds the band at a transitional stage between the "hard space bop" of their Chicago days and the avant-garde direction Sunny's music would take in the s. It also presents the Arkestra as a tight-knit, yet relaxed ensemble, a team of professionals who play to each others' strengths with mutual respect. But first, some background information: Ra's eccentric piano and occasional electric keyboard look forward as do some of the harmonies and Jim Herndon's colorful tympani. Once he moved to New York in , he began to explore more adventurous musical terrain. In many ways, Bad and Beautiful is a resume.
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