Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Sun Ra Arkestra|
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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Jonathan M. Mason | Punta Gorda, FL USA | 01/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having written a number of reviews, I really think I should explain what I mean by my star ratings.* A really worthless CD
** A CD that has some good stuff, but some major defects.
*** An OK CD that will please fans of the artist in question.
**** An excellent CD that represents the best work of the artist in question and can be bought with confidence.
***** An absolute classic that is the best, or among the best, of its genre. Your collection should start here.Now, when I review my past reviews I see a few contradictions. I have already awarded six stars to Sun Ra's Super Sonic Jazz, and a few five stars to some of his other discs.First of all let me say that in my opinion Sun Ra is not just a jazz musician, but sui generis, a genre of his own. This accounts for what my seem like excessively high ratings for a disc like Live At the Village Vanguard, which is a personal favorite.So where does this put Mayan Temples. This is a great disc. It was recorded in Italy in 1990 just before Sun Ra had a disabling stroke that inhibited his performances. The disc is on the Black Saint label and made in Italy, which may explain why my copy of the disc has "Su Ra Arkestra" on the actual disc, the Italian label writers possibly confusing our friend with Johnnie Cash's "A Boy Named Sue.)Be that as it may, this is a superbly recorded CD with well over 70 minutes of the Arkestra at its very best. There is a lot of Sun Ra piano, great saxophone from John Gilmore, and fine trumpeting by Abdullah and Ray. Also some interesting latin influenced percussion, especially in the title track and in the lovely Sunset In the Night On the River Nile, which, unusually in the jazz world, is in cha-cha-cha time--and would make a great hit single if someone cared to rerecord it.Favorite tracks on this are Stardust from Tomorrow, Time After Time (not quite as good as Big Joe Turner), and Opus In Springtime.I think this is probably the best Sun Ra CD, or maybe it is equal to Super Sonic Jazz. The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD reckons that Jazz in Silhouette is THE one to get. I have that too, but I don't quite agree. I guess that means six stars again."
Swinging late studio recording
Jonathan M. Mason | 07/31/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 1990 Italian studio recording features all the usual Arkestra crew: Gilmore, Allen, Tyson, Jackson, etc. The playing leans more toward the hard-swinging facet of this great ensemble's personality, as distinguished from the free-blowing avant-garde mode. There's also a bit of Brasilian percussion influence as well. Nothing could substitute for the amazing live performances of the Arkestra, but this is nevertheless a fine document from the last years of Sun Ra's so-called life."