Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Sun Ra and His Arkestra [extended]

  • The Singles [Evidence, 1996] ***
  • Greatest Hits [Evidence, 2000] B+

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Sun Ra: The Singles [Evidence, 1996]
seminal DIY, bullshit included ("Rocket #9," "The Sun One," "Big City Blues") ***

Greatest Hits [Evidence, 2000]
The solid heads and well-schooled solos of John Gilmore, Marshall Allen, and the former Herman Blount are avant-trad at its most accessible, but note that the melodic panjazz swing showcased here is far more human-sounding and heartbeat-anchored than the children of Star Wars and videogames expect of "easy listening for intergalactic travel." Orbital fans out to slake their craving for strange should make room in their budget for one of the DIY albums where these 18 nonhits began. I'm a Lanquidity fan myself, but remember--I've always liked Agharta too. B+