Sun Ra: The Order of the Pharaonic Jesters


The Order of the Pharaonic Jesters


Sun Ra & His Arkestra


Sun Ra & His Arkestra Greatest Hits Easy Listening for Intergalactic Travel (Evidence ECD 22219-2)

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Sun Ra (organ, synthesizer, Rocksichord),

Ronnie Boykins (bass), Harry Richards (drums), Derek Morris (conga)


Composed by Sun Ra


Recorded: New York, 1973


Rating: 69/100 (learn more)

After World War II, pianist Sonny Blount moved from Alabama to Chicago, where he pursued Egyptology, which had captivated him since childhood. Identifying with the sun-god Ra of Heliopolis (well, why not aim high?), Sonny changed his name to Sun Ra. His music, however, remained surprisingly devoid of Arabic influence. Instead of the distinctive Arabian scales, rhythms or instruments that evolved from ancient times, Sun Ra dishes out cheesy electric organ to inept accompaniment. If teenagers played this in your garage, you'd swear they have no talent, and you'd be right. These "Pharaonic Jesters" ought to be called "Moronic Gestures."

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz


  • 1 mrG // Jan 09, 2008 at 02:31 AM
    Precisely how is this review meant to be useful? Oh, wait, I get it, it is recursive on the "moronic gesture", or maybe it's an in-joke I just don't get. FWIW, "Sun Ra" is the stage-name of Le Sony'r Ra, the angel being who was given and accepted the name Herman Blount until his mystic quest revealed to him who he truly was. I have trouble with "journalism" that can't just relay the facts and insists on harping on missing the point. They can freely call one man The Punisher or Mr. T or even Cary Grant, yet they get all squeemish when faced with the idea of any otherworldly connection to the beings we call humanity, as if that threatens their very way of life and value system, they feel compelled to underline and boldface this one inverted fact of Herman realizing his Sony'r Ra nature as if it was some kind of stage act or, daresay, fraud. It is curious, no? An angelic creature comes to earth to speak to them and all they can say is, "Oh, yeah, but what do you know, you were born to a blue-collar carpenter's house!" :) But I digress: The point of the message of this particular Angelic Creature was simply that he was uninterested in pleasing the reviewers, he was only interested in Psalm 33:3, and in the advancement of the art and science of creative music, in the re-assertion of the fundamental dignity and equality of ALL sentient beings, in the importance of Discipline and Arrangement in the exploration of that space we call Jazz and that space we call Human Consciousness, and in the advancement of fundamentally human characteristics of sound production which descend in an unbroken tradition from Pythagoras and Ptolemy, and Le Sony'r Ra succeeded on all counts before he left this Planet, and if all THAT makes him a goofball moron, then I am happy to be in his company! :)
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