Bad And Beautiful

£ 21.99


The Bad and Beautiful was the first album recorded in New York by Sun Ra after he arrived from Chicago with a small contingent of the Arkestra in 1961. Its release was delayed for 11 years, finally appearing on Sunny's Saturn label in 1972. The album consists of four Sun Ra originals and three standards recorded by a sextet consisting of the leader on piano, accompanied by mainstays John Gilmore, Pat Patrick, Marshall Allen, Ronnie Boykins, and Tommy Hunter.

The album finds the band at a transitional stage between the "hard space bop" of their Chicago days and the avant-garde direction Sunny's music would take in the 1960s. A superficial listen would seem to indicate the repertoire and style were retrospective, yet it's evident from countless flourishes in the arranging and performing that a group of brash newcomers had arrived on the Gotham scene. Despite a string of late 1960s Saturn LP pressings of recordings made in Chicago from 1956 to 1961, upon their arrival on the east coast Sunny and his ensemble began progressing beyond what passed for "polite" jazz. New York changed Sunny irrevocably by inspiring and challenging him. He didn't just find himself in a new city; he began exploring the deeper cosmos.

In many ways, Bad and Beautiful is a resume. It lays out what Sunny had learned as a pianist, composer, bandleader, and arranger during his Chicago years (and earlier growing up in Birmingham). It also presents the Arkestra as a tight-knit, yet relaxed ensemble, a team of professionals who play to each others' strengths with mutual respect. The album seems to say: This is who we are, this is what we did, we hope you like it, but don't expect us to continue in this fashion.

Then there's the issue of sonic quality. Bad and Beautiful sounds like it was recorded in a basement. In fact, it was: at the Choreographer's Workshop, 414 West 51st Street, which was the Arkestra's rehearsal space for several years after they arrived in NYC. The album's title thus acquires secondary implications: under bad conditions, beautiful music can be made. There's a genre called "garage rock." This is "garage jazz."

Bad And The Beautiful
Just In Time
Search Light Blues
Exotic Two
On The Blue Side
And This Is My Beloved
Format: LP
Label: Saturn Research
Catalogue numbers: ESR532

Recorded At-Choreographers Workshop
Distributed By-Scorpio Music
Copyright (c)-El Saturn Research
Published By-Enterplanetary Koncepts

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Media Condition: Mint (M)
Sleeve Condition: Mint (M)

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