Sun Ra & His Cosmo Discipline Arkestra

A Night in East Berlin/My Brothers the Wind and the Sun

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Despite a somewhat subpar sound mix and poor packaging, this 1986 live Sun Ra effort will be enjoyed by dedicated fans of the cosmic bandleader. It includes a typical live Ra mix of frenetic ensemble explorations, Afro-percussion numbers, and ballad standards, in addition to what are considered standards in Sun Ra catalog, the buoyant "Space Is the Place/We Travel the Spaceways" and "Rocket Number Nine." In contrast to these relatively straight-ahead vocal pieces, there are the sprawling, incendiary instrumentals "Mystic Prophecy" and "Shadow World," featuring expansive synthesizer solos by Ra and blistering alto saxophone work by Marshall Allen. Balancing out the fireworks is a double Duke Ellington tribute: a sweet rendition of "Prelude to a Kiss" and the reconfiguration of a favorite Ellington concert piece "Tenderly" ("Interstellar Spaceways"). The latter cut spotlights the incredible tenor saxophone talents of longtime Ra bandmember John Gilmore. Ending the set is the lengthy suite"My Brothers the Wind and Sun No. 9." This is an enjoyable and provocative Sun Ra title, but probably not best suited to those new to his music.

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