Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Sun Ra - Space Aura (Art Yard)

This being the centenary year since Sun Ra's birth (May 22, 1914) we should see celebrations worldwide as cosmonautical sound-lovers rejoice in the music of the space master born to the name of Herman Blount. Expect a huge gathering in Birmingham, Alabama in an attempt to levitate the whole city just as the hippies tried with The Pentagon, only this time success is surely guaranteed, whereby the city will ascend through Earth's atmosphere on it's way to Saturn, I'm sure.

If claims for music's ability to 'transport' the listener have any truth Sun Ra is the prime example. Even Lady Gag nicked a line of his in a single last year (Rocket Number Nine)

Is nothing sacred?
Yes, Sun Ra's music.
I'd love to see more previously unissued music this year to mark the occasion, like this cracking E.P. on Art Yard. If you're new to  Sun Ra, this is a good place to start. People have often asked me 'where to begin' over the years and I've always tipped them back in time to the 50s albums because, whilst being far from conventional big band sounds, they shouldn't scare too many folk.

Space Aura comprises four tracks from 1966, the first being a piano solo, then things take off with the track Space Aura, a fine blowing session. On Song Of The Sparer Ra's clavioline-playing sings of sonic dreaming on a distant planet - sketches of Saturn. Exotic Forest's drum rattles and star-charming solo are superb. A must-have release.

Get the MP3 from here

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