Album Review

Sun Ra – “Space Probe” – [Art Yard]

Thurston Hunger   6/1/2011   CD, Jazz

Solar power continues to thrive well past the earth-time for Herman
“Sonny” Blount. As Art Yard unearths more fair rarities. Tht title
and leadoff track is a lengthy moog mind-meld that rivals “Crystal
Spears” for mad-scientist super-genius level. Life-support style beeps,
and solar gusts of synth’d sax before going heavy on the whooosh. 18
minutes long, so maybe your new theme song? Supposedly Robert Moog
himself gave Sun an early prototype of the mini-moog to blast off with.
“Earth Primitive Earth” gets the reeds ready with sweet ever-climbing
solo with just a few screeches. Percussion dances along barefoot. This
is definitely a sparser recording, but surely dense with the sound.
If you prefer your Sun without electronics, check out his piano on
“Solar Symbols II”, bursts of ragtimey moves, over tinker-toy-trap
percussion. Ra’s piano on “Recollections of There” moves from saloon
to interstellar, joined by Thea Barabara for vocal nebulae. Moaning to
peaking soprano soars. Other shorter tracks sure spark curiousity
before abandoning ship sadly. The closer offers flutey espionage over
dry drums of worry. Together they herald the coming of Ra’s most warm
piano on this to close this jewel put together and polished up by the
good keepers of the Art Yard.

-Thurston Hunger

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