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At the Village Vanguard
At the Village Vanguard
Genre: Jazz
 
This recording presents the spiritual and musical explorations of the late Sun Ra in a rare (and relatively quiet and pensive) small group setting; the lone horn player is longtime Ra associate John Gilmore, on tenor sax; ...  more »

      
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Title: At the Village Vanguard
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Genre: Jazz
Style: Avant Garde & Free Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1

Synopsis

Album Description
This recording presents the spiritual and musical explorations of the late Sun Ra in a rare (and relatively quiet and pensive) small group setting; the lone horn player is longtime Ra associate John Gilmore, on tenor sax; and the bassist is John Ore, whose career also included early stints with Cecil Taylor and Thelonious Monk. Recorded live at the Village Vanguard in November of 1991, Sun Ra's playful synthesizer lines explore standards and originals including extensive versions of "Round Midnight" and "Sun Ra Blues."

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CD Reviews

S'Wonderful
Jonathan M. Mason | Punta Gorda, FL USA | 06/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This greatly underrated album is wonderful, trippy jazz. What we have is basically a 5-piece band comprising Chris Anderson on piano, John Gilmore on tenor sax, plus bass, drums and guitar. Then, in addition, we have Sun Ra tinkling away mostly in the background adding synthesiser effects that give the music that unmistakeable Sun Ra flavor.

Round Midnight is one of the best versions of the tune I have heard, and the 11-minute S'Wonderful is, well, wonderful.

Not much detail on the liner notes, but it is 65-minutes of great music. Two of the tracks can be downloaded from Amazon in MP3 form, so if in doubt, check it out. The quality of the recording is excellent, and apart from a little polite applause at the end of each track, you would never know it's a live recording.

Very, very enjoyable.

Update November 2006

The original part of this review was written a few years ago and was one of the first reviews I wrote for Amazon. This album remains one of my all-time favorites, and while it may not be to everyone's taste, if you do like it, then there is nothing like it. At moment of writing I just finished listening to Round Midnight and still have a smile on my face."
Quite Enjoyable
Scott McFarland | Manassas, VA United States | 10/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I do think these performances are quite enjoyable. In point of fact, this band was originally booked as John Gilmore's band. Ra appeared and performed on electric keyboard, adding effects, but the piano playing that is central on these pieces is played by another young man (whose name escapes me) who does sound pretty much exactly like Sun Ra on the instrument. To me the pieces here form a nice little triad of quality recordings from the late 80's/early 90's with "Blue Delight" and "Purple Night"; the music flows and the music speaks its piece."
The Legend Near The End
Mr. Richard D. Coreno | Berea, Ohio USA | 10/04/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"As with Miles Davis, it seems if Sun Ra found special solace in performing live late in his career, though severe health problems had begun to rob him of his incredible gifts.

In what was scheduled to be a gig by tenor saxophonist John Gilmore and his group, Sun Ra sits in and plays a supporting role by adding wonderful textures on his synthesizer. The band - Chris Anderson, piano; Bruce Edwards, guitar and a rhythm section of John Ore and Buster Smith - is in outstanding form and shapes the music through the guidance from Sun Ra.

Clocking in at nearly 65 minutes, this is Sun Ra giving everything he has for the musicians and the audience. The legend lives through his stage presence."