It’s 6:10pm on a Thursday evening and, get this, I’m home ALONE. HRH has gone to her Leader’s Corp, Kelly is still at work and I’m here all on my lonesome. What’s a guy to do? Why drink a nice pint of Lauder Tun Saints pale ale from Brimestone Brewing (The Sanctuary) and listen to some uber-weird Jazz Boner in the ‘Space Is the Place‘ album by Sun Ra.
Later I’m making some chicken teriaki kebabs with couscous but right now, it’s about enjoying the peace and quiet. Well, as much “peace and quiet” as one is going to get while listening to Sun Ra anyway.
Those of you in the know, know exactly what I’m talking about.
I have been rooting around for this album for, oh, a hella long time. Big props then to Millpond Records & Books for finally coming through for me. I heard it years ago while I was 100% tripping balls and thought “Holy shit, this is the sound my mind imploding in on itself”. Now, despite absence of anything stronger than 5.5% abv beer going through my system, I still think exactly the same.
‘Space Is the Place‘ provides an excellent introduction to Sun Ra’s vast and free-form jazz catalog. In other words, the girl would absolutely hate it and it’s a good thing I’m home alone.
Typical of many Sun Ra recordings, the program is varied; earthbound songs, like the swing number ‘Images‘ and Egyptian exotica piece ‘Discipline‘, fit right in with more space-age cuts, like the tumultuous ‘Sea of Sounds‘ and the humorous ‘Rocket Number Nine‘. None of this however compares to the epic title track which takes up the entire Side A of the album.
That shit melted my mind all those years ago.
Sun Ra fuses many of these styles on the sprawling title cut, as interlocking harmonies, African percussion, manic synthesizer lines, and joyous ensemble blowing all jell into some sort of church revival of the cosmos. Throughout the recording, Sun Ra displays his typically wide-ranging talents on space organ and piano, reed players John Gilmore and Marshall Allen contribute incisive and intense solos, and June Tyson masterfully leads the Space Ethnic Voices on dreamy vocal flights. This is a fine recording and a must for Sun Ra fans.
Especially those of you not opposed to having your brains melted.