Album Review

Sun Ra “Janus” [1201 Music]

cujo   5/16/2006   A Library

Janus: Saturn’s real 10th moon was discovered in 1966, the first new moon of Saturn since 1898. A year or two later, the Ra is equipped with a Mini-Moog and recordings of the following tracks. Mere coincidence?

Island in the Sun (5:23): A relaxed Carribbean island groove; features soothing pas-de-deux between flute and clarinet. A spaced-out Folkways recording?

(total 12:52): The Invisible Shield (5:43): A wild alto solo turns on the shield. Mini-Moogs and a bassoon-french horn hybrid instrument bounce off the energized shield. This leads directly to Janus (6:59) An exploratory landscape of distorted bells, chimes, bowed bass with some Saturno-African vocals weaving in and out.

Velvet (7:22): Live recording of Spaceways-era bop.

Joy (9:15): Most excellent improvized jam, also Spaceways-era. Righteous alto sax solo (totally solo) yields to nervous ensemble jittering (check out the uneven wooden tapping noises). The contemplation is then limited to squeaky and inquisitive horns and drum set, with an unfortunate edit cutting off of the drum solo; probably best to fade down starting around 8:30. Space joy.

-Cujo, KFJC, May 2006

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