My favorite music captures my fantasies and taps into mind worlds created by my subconscious, filling in the details on experiences never fully lived. Sun Ra, being one of my favorite locksmiths, has kindly opened many of these perceptual doors for me.
The Nubians of Plutonia, like many of Ra's works, is extremely percussive for jazz, bringing unsubtle, yet deceptively nimble rhythms to the forefront. Notice the bells and hard-hitting toms in Watusa - also notice the similarity to Brubeck's Take Five except in 6/8 rather than the notorious, infamous 5/8.
Africa is a great example of a real transporter of a track. I don't know if it's possible to listen to this song without dissociating from reality and having Ra's thoughts plastered all over your retinas. Once again, percussive hard-hitting toms provide the framework for textural, rather than melodic, improvisation.
The discord of Aiethopia and Africa, in contrast with the upbeat progressive big band sound of Plutonian Nights, shows Ra's all encompassing genius, as all of these songs unquestionably bear his mark. I am disappointed in everyone I know for not being as interesting as Sun Ra.
Note: This is ripped from the CD reissue, which pairs The Nubians of Plutonia and Angels & Demons at Play. The track numbers don't start at one since I only posted the Nubians tracks.