Rake-Star Some Ra

The Ottawa avant-jazz trio Rake culled together a 16-piece big band, complete with a dancer, to pay tribute to Sun Ra and his Arkestra in a one-time live performance that is documented on this album. Most of the tracks performed here are Sun Ra originals, but the band slips in the occasional Ra-inspired composition among Sun’s timeless explorations of space and sound. Judging by the photos in the album’s booklet, the show was quite the Sun Ra replication, complete with lavishly spaced-out get-ups, multicoloured lights and towering headpieces. Even on disc, Some Ra is an exciting event. The band’s performances are tight and precise with neigh a slip-up to be heard. Sometimes one kind of gets the feeling Rake-Star’s members are accountants and investment bankers by day, something the freedom-loving Sun Ra might have detested, but at least they decided to pay homage to the creator of Interplanetary Music rather than a cheese merchant like David Sanborn. (Spool)