Sun Ra Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra Vol. 3

Sun Ra Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra Vol. 3
Sun Ra’s recorded legacy has been substantially rehabilitated since his death in 1993 as dozens of titles on his own Saturn records have been cleaned up and given first class reissues. Prior to his death, however, his recorded catalogue was scant and full of gaps. Chronologically speaking, following his first few Chicago-recorded albums on Delmark from the mid to late ’50s, his next major recordings were Volumes 1 and 2 of Heliocentric Worlds, released on the legendary ESP Disk label. Because these discs, recorded in 1965, are so highly thought of among his long-time fans, the discovery of 35 minutes of un-issued material from the sessions that produced Volume 2 is a true revelation. The centrepiece of the set is the 17-minute "Intercosmosis,” which seems headed towards the deliberately paced freak outs of Atlantis and The Magic City. The other four tracks are more concise statements; the beginning of "Mythology Metamorphosis” is densely African-esque percussion, foreshadowing his early ’70s work. The stoner bop waltz of "Heliocentric Worlds” recalls his late ’50s and early ’60s work featuring drunken tympani, trippy Rhodes and the deeply soulful bass of Ronnie Boykins. "World Worlds” continues the Boykins/Ra combo within a lovely, heavily arranged space lullaby featuring big brass passages. The most energetic and freest track is saved for the end, where Ra cuts loose all over the piano and celeste as trombones swirl around him. These five distinct and worthy pieces don’t redefine the man’s legacy, but are essential to lovers of the first two volumes. This is a welcome back to ESP Disk after many years of inactivity. (ESP)