Monday, November 3, 2008

Sun Ra - The Night of the Purple Moon (1970)

Who is the coolest guy? Sun Ra.

Sun Ra's recordings exist in an entirely different context than most music. For example, if I were to put you in a sensory deprivation tank and play random songs for you, you might be able to guess pretty accurately that some stupid art school band went to art school, or whether or not a hip-hop artist is deemed acceptable/unacceptable by people with a college education. However, a Sun Ra record would be a more difficult ostrich to wrangle, especially The Night of the Purple Moon.

This thing doesn't even fit in with Sun Ra's other work. This is not the overblown interstellar blast-off of Space is the Place or the exuberant, progressive big band sound of The Nubians of Plutonia. This is Ra jamming out on a Moog, evoking scenes of moon monsters vigorously performing important space rituals (Dance of the Living Image) and then, when their work is done, heading down to the Sea of Tranquility to chat and relax (Love in Outer Space). This is mood music in a way that no one ever means when they say "mood music."

These sounds capture my imagination in a way that few other recordings can, so sit back with a nice tall glass of asteroids and begin your moonship journey.


EDIT: Anonymous comments have been enabled. Some of you have told me that you're still rocking the tin foil hats and don't have a google account, so come on guys, sell me some penis pills.

7 comments:

Patrick said...

The Futuristic Sounds Of is my favorite. The soungwriting on it - the odd bluesy tonality filtered through his insane head - is absolutely beautiful.

I could listen to "Tapestry from an Asteroid" all day.

Todd said...

Yeah Futristic Sounds is great. Bassism is actually one of my favorite Ra tracks. It has that sound of really industrious activities occurring in space, which totally gets me going.

ganzr said...

thank you for this! comprehensible and still psychedelic....
this is one of the few jazz records i ever really enjoyed, apart from "star" with garbarek.

Todd said...

Haven't heard Star, so I'll have to check it out. Can't imagine only really enjoying two jazz records, but, if Purple Moon is one of them, Star must be pretty cool too.

ganzr said...

it was years ago i heard star.....garbareks sax is not really jazzy is very tematic, and the double-bas (by ørsted, and drums (by vitous) are amazing. it is sparse that is what i like...i have some peculiarities about jazz: i seldom like piano (it makes it "clumsy"). in much jazz i feel i cant see the woods for all the trees, too many notes...i achieve not so much pleasure in comparison to what is given....i can only explain it as " too many notes", and maj7 chords makes my head mushy...
I REALLY like that you write about the albums from a MUSICIANS view, and that you find wonder of music in so many different places. i enjoyed the replacing of emphasis bit with the drums...

Andy said...

tall glass of asteroids!!!!

Todd said...

Hey Ganzr, I think I understand what you're saying about the seventh chords. However, I think that I good player voices their chords in such a way that the "head to mush" thing is minimized haha.

But thanks, I'm glad you enjoy my posting. I am often frustrated by the lack of content about actual music in most reviews that I read.