Reviews that mention John Gilmore

December 9, 2010

Sun Ra

The Heliocentric Worlds
ESP-Disk 4062

Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet +1

3 Nights in Oslo

Smalltown Superjazz STSJ197CD

Anthony Braxton/Gerry Hemingway

Old Dogs (2007)

Mode Avant 9/12

Rivière Composers’ Pool

Summer Works 2009

Emanem 5301

Something in the Air

By Ken Waxman

Boxed sets of recorded music have long been a holiday gift. But sophisticated music fans won’t settle for slapped together “best of” collections. Boxes such as these, collecting multiple CDs for specific reasons, should impress any aware listener. MORE

June 18, 2009

Sun Ra

Secrets of the Sun
Atavistic ALP 266 CD

Sun Ra

Live in Cleveland 1975

Golden Years of New Jazz GY 29

Sun Ra’s near-cultish status among some fans, means that, unlike the fanatical disciples such as Dean Benedetti, who preserved non-commercially released work of Charlie Parker and other major jazz figures, Ra material-hoarders number in the hundreds. Consequently previously unknown – or un-circulated – material turns up with increased regularity. Both of these sessions fit into that category. MORE

June 18, 2009

Sun Ra

Live in Cleveland 1975
Golden Years of New Jazz GY 29

Sun Ra

Secrets of the Sun

Atavistic ALP 266 CD

Sun Ra’s near-cultish status among some fans, means that, unlike the fanatical disciples such as Dean Benedetti, who preserved non-commercially released work of Charlie Parker and other major jazz figures, Ra material-hoarders number in the hundreds. Consequently previously unknown – or un-circulated – material turns up with increased regularity. Both of these sessions fit into that category. MORE

October 8, 2008

Sun Ra

On Jupiter
Art Yard CD 004

Sun Ra

Sleeping Beauty

Art Yard CD 003

Unlike many committed sonic experimenters, keyboardist/composer/band leader Sun Ra (1914-1993) never denigrated any type of music – he used them for his own ends.

Thus these notable 1979 sessions, recorded when his Intergalactic Myth Science Solar Arkestra numbered 20 plus musicians, do more than promulgate Ra’s usual mixture of Black Pride and Science Fiction in an improvised jazz context. The compositions add elements of impressionistic moodiness, gospel harmonies, doo-wop vocals, solo piano blues and big band riffs. Furthermore, post-production processing plus the distortions available from electrified guitar, bass, piano and organ also bring out echoes of rock, R&B and even disco. MORE

May 3, 2008

Sun Ra

The Complete Disco 3000 Concert
Art Yard CD 001

Sun Ra & His Outer Space Arkestra

Some Blues But Not The Kind Thats Blue

Atavistic UMS ALP 265 CD

Nearly 15 years after his death – oops, leave-taking for another planet – reissued, unknown and newly discovered sessions by keyboardist/composer/band leader Sun Ra (1914-1993) continue to appear. With the facilities of his own Saturn label plus whichever label(s) he was signed to at the time available to him, Ra evidently recorded just about every scrap of sound involving him and his band. MORE

May 3, 2008

Sun Ra & His Outer Space Arkestra

Some Blues But Not The Kind Thats Blue
Atavistic UMS ALP 265 CD

Sun Ra

The Complete Disco 3000 Concert

Art Yard CD 001

Nearly 15 years after his death – oops, leave-taking for another planet – reissued, unknown and newly discovered sessions by keyboardist/composer/band leader Sun Ra (1914-1993) continue to appear. With the facilities of his own Saturn label plus whichever label(s) he was signed to at the time available to him, Ra evidently recorded just about every scrap of sound involving him and his band.

Furthermore, although Ra was first and foremost a large ensemble specialist – he directed the last constantly working big band – if the occasion demanded, he fronted small groups as well – as these fascinating documents attest. As tradition-oriented as he was futuristic, Ra’s set list was as colossal as it was unpredictable. Thus these discs recorded in 1973, 1977 and 1978, contain not only new material such as both CDs’ title tracks, but a mixture of Ra “hits” such as “We Travel the Spaceways” and “Sun of the Cosmos” and standards such as “My Favorite Thing” and “Nature Boy”. MORE

March 8, 2004

SUN RA

Spaceship Lullaby: The Vocal Groups: Chicago 1954-60
Atavistic Unheard Music Series UMS243CD

Undoubtedly one of the most -- if not the most -- bizarre items in the massive Sun Ra discography, this CD showcases the pianist and infrequently members of his Arkestra backing up three pro-am Chicago vocal groups.

While there’s some grotesque fascination in listening to some of the 37 [!] songs the three sets of singers -- the Nu Sounds, the Lintels and the Cosmic Rays -- perform, you have to realize that many of the 74 plus minutes of music are merely of rehearsal tape quality. Plus true appreciation of the results must come with a certain tolerance for schmaltz. Before he took his band and cosmic visions to New York and later Philadelphia, Sun Ra was very much part of Black show biz in the Windy City. Thus much of the singing is given over to a cross section of pre-rock’n’roll standards and originals, some as cringe-inducing as “A Perfume Counter (in Paris)” and “The Wooden Soldier & The China Doll”, both sung by the Lintels. MORE

December 30, 2002

SUN RA

Music From Tomorrow's World
Atavistic Unheard Music UMS/ALP 237CD

Analogous to hearing Count Basie's band at Kansas City's Reno Club in 1935 or Charlie Parker's legendary stand at New York's Famous Door in 1953 with Thelonious Monk on piano, these newly unearthed tapes offer 17 Chicago performances from 1960 by Sun Ra's then tiny Arkestra.

Their fascination lies more in what the Arkestra isn't then what it is. Not yet the familiar, well-organized band of a dozen musicians plus, instead these tracks feature both a sextet and an octet, working through -- sometimes for the first time -- newly recorded or soon to be taped Ra compositions. Some of the tunes would become Arkestra classics; some would never be recorded or heard again. Additionally, since the first seven selections were taped at Ra's regular gig at the Wonder Inn at Cottage Grove and 75th on Chicago's South Side, you get to hear how the band functioned in a non-listening room circumstance. Mixing familiar show tunes, light classics, jazz syncopation and Ra inventions, the band showed that schtick and showmanship were upfront more than 40 years ago. MORE