Sound Sun Pleasure

by Sun Ra & His Astro Infinity Arkestra

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about

Sound Sun Pleasure was recorded in Chicago at the same March 1959 sessions that produced the instrumental album Jazz In Silhouette, and features near-identical personnel. However, the recordings sat on the shelf for over ten years, finally achieving release in 1970. Whereas Silhouette was comprised of Sun Ra originals, Sound Sun Pleasure explores two works Sunny co-composed with trumpeter Hobart Dotson and four standards, two of which ("'Round Midnight" and "Back In Your Own Backyard") are sung here by Hattie Randolph (or "Hattye," as her name is spelled in Saturn LP credits), whose soulful delivery enhances the uniqueness of this recording date. As a collection of mostly familiar tunes, the short (about 25 minutes) album serves as an accessible introduction to the maestro's music for those likely to find his experimental and avant-garde work difficult to embrace.

The 1950’s were a creative and transitional period for Sun Ra and other Chicago jazz arrangers. It was during this period that Quincy Jones emerged as staff arranger for Mercury Records. Sun Ra was one of his local contemporaries, arranging for large and small bands led by mainstays like Fletcher Henderson and Red Saunders, as well as for R&B and doo-wop ensembles. While Sunny did not have the chart-topping success of Jones (who crossed over into the pop market), he was highly sought for his sophisticated and increasingly idiosyncratic jazz-tinged arrangements.

Tenor saxophonist John Gilmore's and baritone saxophonist Pat Patrick's solos give the arrangements the Chicago “Hard Bop” feel. The set displays Sunny's gentle side with a moving rendition of Thelonious Monk's classic "'Round Midnight," while the Sun Ra/Hobart Dotson collaboration "You Never Told Me That You Cared" unfolds as a majestic ballad before a sudden tempo acceleration at its midpoint. The instrumental "Enlightenment" is the same recording that appeared on Jazz in Silhouette. The reason for its overlapping appearance is unknown, but we're presenting Sound Sun Pleasure as Ra released it.

– I.C.

credits

released May 1, 2014

2014, Enterplanetary Koncepts
All tracks produced by Sun Ra

PERSONNEL:
Sun Ra (piano and celeste)
Hattie Randolph (vocal 1 and 4)
Hobart Dotson (trumpet)
Bo Bailey (trombone)
James Spaulding (alto sax, flute)
Marshall Allen (alto sax, flute)
Pat Patrick (baritone sax, flute)
John Gilmore (tenor sax)
Charles Davis (baritone sax)
Ronnie Boykins (bass)
William Cochran (drums)

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

Composers:
'Round Midnight (Monk-Hanighen)
You Never Told Me That You Cared (Sun Ra-Hobart Dotson)
Hour of Parting (Michael Spoliansky-Gus Kahn)
Back in Your Own Backyard (Jolson-Rose-Dreyer)
Enlightenment (Sun Ra-Hobart Dotson)
I Could Have Danced All Night (Lerner-Loewe)

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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