February 29 - March 7, 1 9 9 6

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**** Various Artists



Few musicians left as varied a legacy as the late pianist/big-band leader/shaman Sun Ra. Dameronian bebop, swing-era charts, African percussion, free improvisation, electronics, poetry, revival-meeting gospel -- all were part of his astonishing repertoire. This two-CD set, the proceeds from which go to support the now leaderless Arkestra, covers the full spectrum of Ra's art, as interpreted by more than 30 bands.

The tradition-informed innovation of Boston's Charlie Kohlhase Quintet adds personal twists to Ra's '50s skewed-bop "Kingdom of Not." NRBQ plus three Arkestra members tackle another boppish number, "Fate in a Pleasant Mood," in a mix of pop and jazz sensibilities. Ethnic-music influences are explored on "Constellation/The Art Scene" by saxophonist Dan Plonsey with members of Gamelan Sekar Jaya, and by trumpeter Tom Djll and Japanese strings on "There Are Other Worlds." Ra's love for strange electronic sounds inspires a rocking "Dancing Shadows" by UYA (another Boston outfit), a noisy sound exploration of "Disco 3000" by Elliott Sharp, and a dub version of "The Nile" by Phantom Radio.

-- Ed Hazell

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