Modern Harmonic - MH-8012 - 150 Gram Virgin Vinyl - Pressed at RTI
Limited Edition - Black Friday 2017
Sensuous dreamscapes to transport the listener to the lush tropical environs of the outer reaches of the omniverse, presented on three colourful inter-stellar vinyl saucers. 'Exotica' brings you to a lush cocktail party where space is the place. Incongruous? Listening to the 25 tracks herein will showcase that Sun Ra was, indeed, an "exoticat" of sorts, albeit in his own unique way. This set is packaged in a beautiful gatefold jacket with two sets of extensive notes!
Three colorful inter-stellar saucers of "Exotic-Ra" bringing you to a lush cocktail party where space is the place. A rhapsodic pandemonium of Afro-centric rhythms, Latin beats, ostinato grooves, and unissued tunes! Limited edition colored vinyl, gatefold packaging, Bonestell cover, & two sets of liners!
When fans think "Exotica," the names that come to mind are Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, Les Baxter, Esquivel, and countless others. But Sun Ra?
Here, we offer an illustrative passage from John Szwed's indispensable 1997 Ra biography, Space is the Place. For context, Szwed is chronicling the evolution of Ra's style in the late 1950s, when the budding legend was based in Chicago, leading a midsized ensemble (already dubbed an "Arkestra"), and still working largely in subgenres identifiable as "jazz." Szwed's reflections on Sunny's absorption with Exotica align the Afrofuturist icon with an unlikely musical inspiration:
"Sunny was listening to the Hollywood-inspired music being made by people like David Rose, whose lush, massed string writing could be heard as theme songs on popular radio programs; or to the exotica of people like Martin Denny, who recorded in Honolulu accompanied by animal noises, natural acoustic delay, and reverberation; and especially to the arrangements of Les Baxter, the premier figure in what was being called mood music.
"Baxter developed a post-swing style in the late forties and early fifties of spectacular orchestral writing
Recordings produced by Sun Ra for Saturn Records, under the business aegis of Alton Abraham
Recorded at various locations in Chicago and New York, 1956–1968
Album produced by Irwin Chusid
Project Management: Jay Millar for Modern Harmonic Records
Audio transfers by Michael D. Anderson, Sun Ra Music Archive
Audio restoration by Michael D. Anderson and I.C.
Mastered by Bob Irwin
Cover art: "Antares," by Chesley Bonestell, restored and adapted by Laura Lindgren. Reproduced courtesy Bonestell LLC.
All titles composed by Sun Ra © Enterplanetary Koncepts (BMI)
"Tiny Pyramids" by Ronnie Boykins © Enterplanetary Koncepts (BMI)
"April in Paris" by Vernon Duke and Yip Harburg © Glocca Morra-Kay Duke-Universal
Thanks to Br. Cleve, Christopher Trent, Robert Campbell, John Szwed, Paul Youngquist, Piet Schreuders, Garrett Shelton, Peter Dennett, Lisa Capuano (R.I.P.), Jim Elferdink, and Byron Werner.
All recordings licensed from Sun Ra LLC
Thanks to Thomas Jenkins, Jr.
Side A: 1. Kingdom of Thunder (3:49) 2. Space Mates (4:44) 3. Star Bright (2:25) 4. The Nile Part 1 (4:58) 5. Eve (Visits Planet Earth) (5:51)
Side B: 6. Tiny Pyramids (3:38) 7. Lady With The Golden Stockings (7:42) 8. Paradise (4:26) 9. New Horizons (3:02) 10. Portrait of the Living Sky (1:48)
Side C: 11. India (4:48) 12. Ancient Aiethopia (9:14) 13. Planet Earth (4:55) 14. April In Paris (3:55)
Side D: 15. Island In The Sun (10:21) 16. Africa (5:05) 17. Friendly Galaxy (4:51)
Side E: 18. Interstellar Low Ways (8:23) 19. The Conversion of JP (7:01) 20. Cha Cha In Outer Space (4:41) Side F: 21. Brazilian Sun (3:55) 22. Lights On A Satellite (3:38) 23. Somewhere In Space (6:13) 24. Spontaneous Simplicity (3:01) 25. Overtones of China (4:18)