Disco 3000

Sun Ra

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Disco 3000 Review

by Sean Westergaard

Disco 3000 is yet another release by the Sun Ra Quartet, recorded during an incredibly prolific period in Italy in January of 1978. The players are Ra (keys), John Gilmore (tenor sax), Michael Ray (trumpet), and Luqman Ali (drums), with assistance from the Crumar Mainman synthesizer/rhythm box. The title cut is pretty free, with Ra's carnival organ starting the proceedings along with some programmed rhythms. Everyone takes turns soloing, with Michael Ray doing his trademark trumpet-with-delay imitation and some weird panning effects tossed in. They also veer into the "Space Is the Place" chant, briefly. "Third Planet/Friendly Galaxy" is a more straightforward bop-flavored piece that gives way to a great John Gilmore tenor solo accompanied only by Luqman Ali. "Dance of the Cosmo-Aliens" is basically a Ra keyboard showcase with the rhythm box and only the slightest contributions from Ali. The applause at the end indicates that at least this track was recorded live. This quartet was a short-lived experiment that put out a wide range of material. The more "inside" material was released on the Horo albums Other Voices, Other Blues and New Steps, with Saturn releasing the rest (Media Dream, Disco 3000, The Sound Mirror) (all will probably be difficult to find). This is an interesting, but not essential recording, whose reputation is probably based more on its obscurity/rarity status than the music it contains.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Sun Ra 26:16 Amazon
2 Sun Ra 10:22 Amazon
3 Sun Ra 05:59 Amazon
4 Sun Ra 07:40 Amazon
5 Sun Ra 10:39 Amazon
6 Sun Ra 06:06 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick