17 January, 2011

Sun Ra - Fondation Maeght Nights, Vol. 1 & 2 (1970)

Sun Ra - Fondation Maeght Nights, Vol. 1 & 2 (1970)
jazz | 1+1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 400MB
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allmusic v1
This is a reissue of Nuits de la Fondation Maeght, Vol. 1 (1970), which includes recordings of Sun Ra and his concurrent Arkestra during their first European trip in August 1970 for the French Maeght Foundation arts consortium. Granted, Ra and company's idiosyncratic brand of avant-garde and free jazz is not for everyone; however, inclined parties are encouraged to locate these sides, as the cuts are uniformly outstanding. Although there are only four songs, each provides distinct facets of what makes the Arkestra so undeniably unique. The set opens with enthusiastic readings of the invocation "Enlightenment" and "The Star Gazers," both featuring rare vocal duets between June Tyson (vocals) and John Gilmore (tenor sax/drums/vocals). The latter is followed by some highly complex and equally luminous piano runs from Ra leading into a full-ensemble outing on "Shadow World," a workout dating back to the mid-'60s. Marshall Allen's alto sax volleys cast continuous layers of sporadic textures weaving disparate lines within the joyous cacophony. Primary among the sonic strata is Ra's miniMoog synthesizer, which alternately soars and gurgles against the aggressive percussion and potent woodwind and brass. The B-side of this extended play 7" contains one of the most inspired keyboard performances available from Ra, titled (appropriately enough) "The Cosmic Explorer." There are moments that vacillate from terrifying to sublime as the artist methodically investigates the sounds while carefully constructing his progressive arrangements. Much like the Arkestra presentation, Ra's solos are intricate and involved, making up for any perceived lack of structure with an undeniably solid and quite possibly unequaled entry. Enthusiasts should note that the Nuits de la Fondation Maeght volumes are available on CD from an excellent quality tape (read: non-vinyl) source on Comet Records.
Although the music is unquestionably worth seeking, Fondation Maeght Nights (1986) is not an optimal way to hear it. However, interested parties are encouraged to locate the respective installments of the similarly titled Nuits de la Fondation Maeght (2003), which is available on CD. Sun Ra and the Arkestra are captured during their August 3, 1970, set at Saint Paul de Vence in Côte d'Azur, France. This was the combo's first European excursion and they certainly rise to the occasion, giving one of the strongest documents of the Arkestra during this era. "Friendly Galaxy" (aka "Friendly Galaxy Number 2") seethes below an undulating rhythm that is held in check amidst brooding and wailing outbursts from Alan Silva (violin). Silva likewise provides the sublime and steady electric bass guitar line that girds the full ensemble on a limber and joyous "Spontaneous Simplicity." The introductory theme prominently showcases the brass and woodwind sections and is bookended by the sinuous and remarkably melodic assertions from Ra on electric piano. In a stylistic 180-degree turn, "The World of the Lightening" commences some of the decidedly farther-out selections. Ra's miniMoog slashes through the equally profound and incendiary blows from Marshall Allen (sax), eventually landing into an all-out sonic assault from the Arkestra. June Tyson (vocals) opens up a deeply resonate "Black Myth" with a pair of recitations in the form of "The Shadows Took Shape" and "The Strange World." These are juxtaposed with direct and aggressive Moog interjections from Ra during the final movement, "Journey Through the Outer Darkness." "Sky" is a brief concluding solo from Allen on an instrument called the hautbois -- a Russian predecessor to the oboe. Whether by design or fluke, the song concludes abruptly, seemingly in mid-thought. Once again it is worth mentioning that while this specific disc lacks considerably from the standpoint of acceptable fidelity, enthusiasts should direct their respective attentions to Nuits de la Fondation Maeght, Vol. 2 (2003) on Comet Records

-1 Enlightenment 2:57
-2 The Star Gazers 3:09
-3 Shadow World 13:28
-4 The Cosmic Explorer 19:53

-1 Friendly Galaxy Number 2 8:46
-2 Spontaneous Simplicity 10:50
-3 The World Of The Lightening 5:54
-4 Black Myth 8:32
-5 Sky 2:01

Bass, Cello, Violin - Alan Silva
Clarinet [Bass], Drums - Robert Cummings
Clarinet, Flute, Oboe, Percussion - James Jacson
Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone [Alto] - Absholom Ben Shlomo
Drums - Nimrod Hunt
Drums, Percussion - Lex Humphries
Drums, Timpani - John Goldsmith
Saxophone [Alto], Flute, Flute [Piccolo], Oboe - Marshall Allen
Saxophone [Alto], Flute, Percussion - Danny Davis
Saxophone [Baritone], Bassoon, Flute - Danny Ray Thompson
Saxophone [Baritone], Clarinet [Bass], Saxophone [Alto], Saxophone [Tenor], Flute, Clarinet, Percussion - Pat Patrick
Saxophone [Tenor], Drums - John Gilmore
Synthesizer [Moog], Piano, Electric Piano, Organ [Electric], Performer [Intergalactic Instruments] - Sun Ra
Trumpet - Kwame Hadi
Trumpet, Cornet - Akh Tal Ebah
Vibraphone, Drums - Rashied Salim IV
Vocals - Gloristeena Knight , June Tyson , Verta Grosvenor


yotte said...

Thank you so much! I've been hoping to find a lossless copy for some time.

durmoll said...

read (about linx):


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