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Saturn / Mystery Mr. Ra:
Sun Ra's angular yet strident and soulful "Saturn,” recorded in 1958, displays bluesy cubist bop in perfect alter-dimensional extension of Fletcher Henderson. It's also a showcase for John Gilmore's sax acrobatics and supersonic swing. "Mystery, Mr. Ra," recorded live in 1984 and originally unissued, is just on the friendly side of ominous. Its deep funk, delivered by James Jacson on the Ancient Egyptian Astro Infinity Drum, lifts up Ra's dark bravado with no uncertainty.
El Is A Sound Of Joy / Black Sky And Blue Moon:
The Nu Sounds, aka Cosmic Rays, on a faraway journey to the land of late-50s Chicago singing groups, the Arkestra supporting with quiet grace, pulsing in Nubians of Plutonia mode. An uncanny blend of antique blackness and bright satellites, ethereal voices perfectly in tune; thanks to Ra's disciplined coaching (plus Modern Harmonic's expert re-mastering), their sweet dynamics and exact harmonics are crystal clear.
Plutonian Nights / Reflects Motion (Part 1):
"Plutonian Nights," the opening jam from the 1959 Afrofuturist classic album Nubians of Plutonia, is Sun Ra's quintessential, astro-majestic party joint. Among the top grooves in his immense catalog, Ra reveals his love for R&B is inseparable from his embrace of Jazz. "Reflects Motion" is breakbeat heaven from the groundbreaking early-60s Choreographer's Workshop sessions, long buried in the deep space vaults.