This CD should be essential for anyone who is a fan of Sun Ra. It is a live concert from Soundscape (recorded on November 11, 1979), featuring such classics as "Astro Black" "Discipline 27," and "Space is the Place," among many others. While the concert could have been recorded or mixed a little better (some of the vocals and instruments are occasionally hard to hear), the performance is brilliant. Mr. Ra, June Tyson, John Gilmore et al. really give the music a vitality that is inspirational and at times staggeringly beautiful.
Sun Ra's orchestra was at its most radical for Outer Spaceways Incorporated, alternating simple chants with very outside playing and dense ensembles. While the sidemen include such notables as Marshall Allen and Danny Davis on altos, baritonist Pat Patrick, John Gilmore on tenor, bassist Ronnie Boykins, and percussionist Clifford Jarvis, most of the other players in the 15-piece band (such as trumpeters Ahk Tal Ebah and Kwame Hadi) slipped back into obscurity after this. The music is quite intriguing, although it requires an open mind and a sense of humor to fully appreciate.
Fire Wind is the second album released by Electric Sun. Electric Sun was a heavy metal formed by Uli Jon Roth after his departure from the Scorpions in 1978. They recorded three albums between 1979 and 1985. The first album, Earthquake, was released in 1979 and features guitarist/vocalist Roth, bassist Ule Ritgen and drummer Clive Edwards. Edwards departed quickly after recording the first album. Fire Wind came next in 1981, featuring new drummer Sidhatta Gautama. The band toured for a few years afterwards. While the first two albums were a trio format, the third album was more of an ensemble project.
One of the finest Sun Ra recordings from his final years, this effort is particularly recommended due to the many Ra keyboard solos and John Gilmore features, the latter of which include a tenor showcase on "Opus In Springtime." Trumpeters Michael Ray and Ahmed Abdullah, altoist Marshall Allen and singer June Tyson also have their spots, and the repertoire consists of ten Ra originals (including a remake of "El Is the Sound of Joy") and three standard ballads. Overall, this is a fine all-around studio set. Recommended.