Fate in a Pleasant Mood

by Sun Ra & His Myth Science Arkestra

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Space Mates 07:14
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Ahnknation 03:28
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about

Fate in a Pleasant Mood was recorded in Chicago in 1960, but not released until 1965. It was the last album featuring Sunny's band from Chicago. After a decade and a half in the Windy City, tired of local indifference by fans and the press, Sun Ra decided to take his music elsewhere—briefly to Montreal, then New York, where he settled for seven years.

Stylistically, Fate in a Pleasant Mood veers from ballads to bebop, from free jazz to Ellington-inflected voicings, from the 12-bar blues to strains of crime jazz and cha-cha. In his Sun Ra biography Space is the Place, John Szwed says of the album's offerings: "To a seasoned jazz listener at the time they might seem either slightly out of kilter or evidence of a band with a hidden agenda." Suspicions aside, Fate in a Pleasant Mood is an accessible album by the era's standards, and full of delights. Of particular note is the imaginative drum solo (probably by Jon Hardy) on "Space Mates"—a restrained touch at odds with the prevailing hard bop emphasis on funkiness and speed. Indeed, there are a lot of unusual percussion textures throughout the set (e.g. on "Kingdom of Thunder," which approximates a Saturnesque take on the late '50s exotica of Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman).

Sun Ra discographer Robert L. Campbell wrote: "In 1967 the album was given the catalog number 202. The spine of the Saturn LP, but not the front or back cover, rendered its title as it may have been intended originally, 'Faith in a Pleasant Mood' (the spine also said "Saturn Vol. 2," without indicating what Volume 1 was, and gave the number as 9956-2-B)."

This digital collection includes the unreleased 45 rpm single version of "Lights on a Satellite," which features the engineer's title cue at the head followed by the album performance drenched in heavy reverb.

– I.C.

credits

released April 2, 2014

2014, Enterplanetary Koncepts
All tracks produced by Sun Ra
Recorded June 1960 at RCA Studios, Chicago

PERSONNEL:
Sun Ra (piano)
John Gilmore (tenor sax, clarinet, percussion)
Ronnie Boykins (bass)
Phil Cohran (trumpet, cornet)
Lucious Randolph (trumpet on "Kingdom of Thunder")
Marshall Allen (alto sax, flute, bells)
George Hudson (trumpet)
Nate Pryor (trombone, bells)
Eddy Skinner (drums, probably 4 and 5)
Jon Hardy (drums, probably 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8)

All titles composed by Sun Ra except "Distant Stars" by Sun Ra and Ronnie Boykins; and "Kingdom of Thunder" by Sun Ra and Marshall Allen
All titles © Enterplanetary Koncepts (BMI)

Tape transfers by Michael D. Anderson of the Sun Ra Music Archive
Digital restoration by Michael D. Anderson and Irwin Chusid

Issued under license from Sun Ra LLC

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Sun Ra New York, New York

A Helpful Guide to the Many Sun Ra Albums on Bandcamp: daily.bandcamp.com/2017/10/13/sun-ra-album-guide
The foremost figure in musical Afro-futurism and space-jazz. Keyboardist, composer, Arkestra leader, arranger, philosopher-jester, fashion icon, cosmic guide. Born Herman Blount in Alabama, 1914, left the planet in 1993, giving Earthlings a monumental catalog of recordings that transcend genre. ... more

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