Sun Ra - Universe in Blue - 180g
Artist: Sun Ra | Label: Saturn Research | Format: LP | Genre: Jazz | Album Condition: New | Cover Condition: Sealed
Sun Ra and the Blue Universe Arkestra
Universe in Blue
Saturn Research 200 - re-issue LP on 180g vinyl
Universe in Blue is a rarity. After-hours music, showcasing Sun Ra's twisted take on the Blues, these live recordings from 1972 provide an intriguing glimpse of the Arkestra’s repertoire and virtuosity at the close of their first decade playing in New York, and brought him to the greater attention of the New York press and helped cement his reputation for audacious showmanship. Ra and his band performed at the famed East Village Slug's almost every Monday night for several years through the late sixties, and took the stage sporadically for several years thereafter. This collection of undated live club performances was issued in small-run pressings with two different LP covers on Sun Ra's Saturn label around 1972, but has largely escaped further notice. The only personnel on the jacket is: Sun Ra on the intergalactic Space Organ; John GIlmore on Tenor Sax; June Tyson Vocal.
The recordings on Universe in Blue are not hi-tech; they were reportedly captured with a pair of microphones placed on or near opposite sides of the stage (resulting in a startling lo-fi stereo), and recorded on cassettes. Considering this primitive set-up, the fidelity—"Another Shade of Blue" excepted—is quite good. These sonic artifacts provide an intriguing glimpse of the Arkestra's repertoire and virtuosity at the close of their first decade playing in New York. Prepare yourself for the track, "Another Shade of Blue." This relentless, 11 minutes-plus blues cooker is a wild ride. The audio is terrible, the playing is awesome, and it's chock full of soul. "Another Shade …" conveys the feel of a 3 a.m. jam session in some smoky 1940s R&B roadhouse (in stereo!). The sound was upgraded slightly from the Saturn LP, but processing cannot restore what's not there. It's a murky sonic swamp, comparable to a Velvet Underground audience tape. Fidelity aside, the spirit, intensity and chops are self-evident. The Ark wails, Gilmore burns, and the tape fades, with no indication of how long the band continued. In an alternate cosmos, it might still be in progress.
Universe in Blue Part 1
Universe in Blue Part 2
In a Blue Mood
Another Shade of Blue
New SEALED re-issue on 180g vinyl (no barcode)