Sun Ra Arkestra: Prelude to a Kiss


Prelude to a Kiss


Sun Ra Arkestra


Cosmo Omnibus Imaginable Illusion: Live at Pit-Inn [aka Pitt-In], Tokyo (DIW 824)

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Sun Ra (piano, synthesizer, vocals),

Ahmed Abdullah, Michael Ray (trumpets), Tyrone Hill (trombone), Marshall Allen (alto sax), John Gilmore (tenor sax, percussion), Danny Thompson (baritone sax), Leroy Taylor (clarinet, bass clarinet), June Tyson (violin, viola), Bruce Edwards (guitar), Rollo Radford (electric bass), Earl “Buster” Smith and Eric Walker (drums)


Composed by Duke Ellington


Recorded: Live at Pit-Inn, Tokyo, Japan, August 8, 1988


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

As it turns out, a rather strange, indefinable period in jazz history that lasted from the mid- to late '80s allowed for Sun Ra, one of its oddest, most indefinable characters, to come into greater view. But it wasn't simply a matter of timing that slightly but certainly widened Ra's fan base (or made some of his detractors loathe him a little less). Without ever sacrificing his complete and utter individuality, Ra definitely increased the accessibility factor come the 1970s and '80s teaching a class at UC Berkeley, becoming a visible presence in his Philadelphia hometown, and incorporating classic jazz standards into his live repertoire. A prime example of a Ra-reinvented track is Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss," recorded at Tokyo's Pit-In. Ra's deft stride piano and playful yet respectful arrangement prove that as far out in the cosmos as you get in the big band world, you're never more than a step from the Duke.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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