A real gem. In addition to the Futuristic Sounds Of Sun Ra album (1961) featured here in its entirety this release also includes seven bonus tracks, which comprise the three complete sessions preceding the Futuristic Sounds date. The first of these three dates took place at Chicagos Wonder Inn during July 1960, and yielded only one track an excellent version of Early Autumn.
The second date which took place in Chicago in late 1960, also produced one sole track Sun Ras Kingdom Of Thunder. The third and final session includes five different tracks (Kingdom Of Thunder, Distant Stars, Onward, Space Aura, We Travel The Spaceways, Space Loneliness) recorded in Chicago in late 1960 or early 1961.
Bonus Tracks: The Complete Sessions of the Saturn labels 1960 Holiday For Soul Dance; Kingdom Of Thunder From Saturns 1960 LP Fate In A Pleasant Mood; and Saturns 1960/1961 Sun Ra And His Myth Science Arkestra.
02. Of sounds and something else
03. What's that
04. Where's tomorrow
05. The beginning
06. China Gates
07. New day
08. Tapestry from an asteroid
09. Jet flight
10. Looking outward
11. Space Jazz Reverie
12. Early autumn
13. Kingdom of thunder
14. Distant stars
16. Space aura
17. We travel the spaceway
18. Space loneliness
Total time: 67:46 min.
Tracks #1-11 originally issued as SAVOY MG-12169.
Personnel: Bernard McKinney (euph, tb, bells), Marshall Allen (as, ts, bells), John Gilmore (ts, b-cl, bells), Pat Patrick (bs, bells), Sun Ra (p), Ronnie Boykins (b, bells), Willie Jones (d, perc), Leah Ananda (conga), Ricky Murray (vcl). Recorded in New York City, on October 10, 1961.
"Sun Ra's only release for the Savoy label is a gem. Recorded in October of 1961, this is probably the first recording the Arkestra made after arriving in New York. As such, you're dealing with a smallish Arkestra (seven main instrumentalists, joined by vocalist Ricky Murray on "China Gate") that's still playing the boppish, highly arranged music characteristic of the Chicago years (1954-1961). Ra sticks to acoustic piano for the entire session, but various percussion instruments are dispersed throughout the band, giving a slightly exotic flavor to some of the tunes. John Gilmore plays bass clarinet on a couple tunes (as well as some great tenor solos), and Marshall Allen's flute playing is excellent, as always. This album was produced by Tom Wilson, who also produced the first Sun Ra LP, Jazz by Sun Ra (1956) for the Transition label, later reissued by Delmark as Sun Song (Wilson later went on to sign the Mothers of Invention to Verve and "electrified" Bob Dylan). With the exception of "The Beginning," all the tunes are very accessible. This is one to play for the mistaken folks who think the Arkestra did nothing but make noise. Excellent."
Sean Westergaard -All Music Guide