It's pretty easy to be skeptical about "recently unearthed" recordings in ANY medium, particularly jazz – but you can always count on the Unheard Music Series – especially when it comes to the vaults of the great Sun Ra
! This mid-to-late 50s discovery Spaceship Lullaby features Ra
working in a largely unknown guise – with several vocal ensembles from the period! The vocalists and backing musicians include the Nu Sounds, The Cosmic Rays and The Lintels. Similar recordings have previously materialized on extremely rare 7-inch singles, but this is the first full length CD of the material (that we've ever known of, anyway) – one that spans an innovative amalgam of dense, propulsive space jazz/
soul backings (almost unbelievably forward-looking for the 50s, but what else would you expect from Ra
) and awesomely layered vocals that run from scatting, spoken sci fi weirdness to romantic doo wop harmonies. Ra
is on piano with the titanic drummer Robert Barry on the back end – and a period incarnation of the Arkestra even backs the Cosmic Rays on a couple of tracks. What can we say? This is one of the greatest Sun Ra
discoveries to come into our perspective in years; jaw droppingly cool stuff from one of the most jaw droppingly cool musicians who ever lived on this planet or any of the others! Tracks are divided by the performing groups: The Nu Sounds cuts comprise the majority, and include "Stranger In Paradise", "Honey", "Black Sky & Blue Moon", "A Foggy Day", "A Perfect Counter", "Wordless Piece", "I Was Wrong", "Louise" and lots of others. There are five Lintels cuts, including "C'est Ci Bon", "Blue Moon", "Baby Please Be Mine". Cosmic Rays cuts include "Africa", "Somebody's In Love", "Bye Bye" and more. 37 tracks in all!
(Out of print, small cutout notch through spine.)