Sun Ra – Sleeping Beauty

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This LP of Sun Ra’s from 1979 marks a pinnacle in one of the Arkestra’s most-loved phases, as they embraced a funky, laid-back groove and shuffled through three tracks of upfront bass, electric guitar, spacey Fender Rhodes, and Luqman Ali’s signature late snares. With this rhythmic core, the rest of the Arkestra step up with solos, slightly out of tune harmonies, and vocal chants. ‘Door Of The Cosmos’ kicks the record off at a mid-tempo pace with handclaps, vibraphones, a killer trumpet solo from Michael Ray, and a poetic chorus from June Tyson. But it’s `Springtime Again’ and the title track `Sleeping Beauty’ that really steal the show, so loose that they threaten to fall apart, yet somehow the music holds together as the group rock back and forth like a hammock. It’s testament to Sun Ra as a band leader that he could get such restrained yet emotional performances from the Arkestra, floating in and out of time and tune, on the edge of disintegration.

Tracklist

01. Springtime Again
02. Door Of The Cosmos
03. Sleeping Beauty

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One Response to “Sun Ra – Sleeping Beauty”

  1. rentstrike says:

    Thanks for introducing those not already familiar with this Sun Ra gem. “Springtime Again” is perhaps my favorite Sun Ra tune. It captures perfectly the blend of melancholy and hope that certain tender spring days evoke.

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