Sun Ra: Medicine for a Nightmare


Medicine for a Nightmare


Sun Ra (piano, electric piano)


Greatest Hits - Easy Listening for Intergalactic Travel (Evidence ECD 22219-2)

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Sun Ra (piano, electric piano), Julian Priester (trombone), John Gilmore (tenor sax), Art Hoyle (trumpet), Pat Patrick (baritone sax), Wilbur Green (electric bass), Robert Barry (drums),

Jim Herndon (tympani)


Composed by Sun Ra


Recorded: Chicago, February 1956


Rating: 69/100 (learn more)

During a mid-1950s concert for mental patients at a Chicago hospital, a chronic catatonic rose from the floor, made her way to the piano player and uttered her first words in years. "Do you call that music?" It was a fair question. No stranger to disbelief, pianist Sun Ra had visited Saturn as a teenager, and later renamed himself after the Egyptian sun-god, Ra of Heliopolis. (Well, why not aim high?) With a keyboard technique reminiscent of Imhotep wielding mummified fingers, Sun Ra doesn’t tickle the ivories so much as scuffle with them. His sidemen are fine, but Sun Ra is more nightmarish than medicinal.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz


  • 1 Sun Ra is watching // Jan 09, 2008 at 05:03 PM
    Reading your bloody review makes me vomit. Who the hell are you to be the judge of one genius work? You call this criticism or blatant horse-shit?
  • 2 It's a nightmare reading this crap! // Jan 09, 2008 at 05:13 PM
    Who the hell is the individual responsible for publishing such utter nonsense? Will he/she please stand up and be accounted for? I see Alan Kurtz is no fan of Sun Ra (which is fine, different strokes for different folks) but that certainly doesn't allow him free reign to shit all over music that is above and beyond his scope of understanding. I suggest he immediately return to kindergarten where the music teacher will gladly show him the basics.
  • 3 Rev // Jan 12, 2008 at 05:38 PM
    I was going to tell the music librarian at the university where I teach to add this site to the library's links page, but after reading this obnoxious and moronic commentary on Sun Ra, I'm not sure I can recommend this site.
  • 4 samit mukergee // Jan 04, 2009 at 08:13 PM
    This seems to be a common theme to his so called "reviews" on this site. Kurtz is a not a jazz critic or scholar of any kind but a prejudiced a-hole, if he dislikes an artist he dumps on them by writing smart ass bullshit as above.
  • 5 Alan Kurtz // Jan 12, 2009 at 03:57 AM
    Sun Ra's defenders seem unable to express themselves beyond vituperative vulgarity. Here they have a free platform to tell the world why everyone should listen to Sun Ra's "Medicine for a Nightmare" and what makes this track so great. Instead, the best these four respondents can do is (1) vomit, (2) consign me to kindergarten, (3) classify me as an obnoxious moron, (4) denounce me as a prejudiced a-hole. It's kind of sad, really. Poor Sun Ra. His fans are loyal but inarticulate. Even I think he deserves better than that.
  • 6 Ted // Feb 15, 2009 at 09:52 PM
    Sun Ra seems to have many potty-mouthed fans. Saturnians take note . . . these kinds of comments will be removed
  • 7 TimeTraveller // Apr 26, 2009 at 08:07 PM
    To a simple minded the works o Salvador Dali or Escher may seem nonsense. Sunra is the Dali or Escher of jazz. Its not for the simple minded to understand or appreciate.