Recent listening, current

Thursday, April 4, 2013

71. Sun Ra / Blue Delight (1989)

Blue Delight recorded alongside Purple Night and so the music retains the same character. Be advised, though, All Music Guide and anyone who quoted them got it wrong, because there is no Don Cherry heard here -- he's on Purple Night. The title track is jubilant and showcases Ra's style on the piano. He is double-fisted, percussive, highly rhythmic, and swinging. His chords are thick and the left hand interplays with the right, sometimes dividing phrases between the two, punctuating them with occasional boulders. There are stimulating interpretations of tunes like "Days of Wine and Roses" and "Gone with the Wind" but my favorite track is the Ra-riginal "They Dwell on Other Planes." Ra uses the synth sparingly, but numerous solos over the menacing vamp extend it beyond the 12-minute mark. Throughout the album, strains from Tommy Turrentine, John Gilmore, Bruce Edwards, and others usher the proceedings with excitement and color. I once heard this described as "hip music for squares or square music for hipsters" and that's it. If I find that reviewer, I''ll quote him here. I think it's damned good music, and an essential recording for listeners who enjoy their jazz left of center.

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