Sun Ra's first album as a leader – originally issued on the Transition label, but presented here in its better-known incarnation by Delmark
Records! Even at this early point, Ra had a sound unlike any of his contemporaries – large group and modern, but not in a way that showed any similarities to work going on in New York or LA – a voice that was all his own, and already quite boldly stated, even in these early years! The format might be somewhat familiar – an ensemble with horns and rhythm – but the overall execution really starts to open up as the album moves on – with odd phrasings, timings, and unusual moments that live up to all the promise you might expect from Ra. Even Mingus and some of his better-known contemporaries weren't heading in these directions in the mid 50s – and the record is a proud showcase of the freedoms that players were often accorded in the less-trafficked Chicago scene of the time. Horns include Art Hoyle & Dave Young on trumpets, John Gilmore on tenor sax, Pat Patrick on baritone, Julian Priester on trombone, and James Scales on alto sax – and rhythm includes Jim Herndon on tympani, Robert Barry on drums, Wilbur Green on electric bass, and a young Richard Evans on acoustic bass! Titles include "Brainville", "Call For All Demons", "Transition", "Lullaby For Realville", "Street Named Hell", "New Horizons", "Fall Off The Long", "Possession", and "Future".
(Early 00s North Rockwell stereo pressing in a barcode cover. Cover has a piece of black tape in back across the bottom.)