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My Brother The Wind, Vol II

£ 21.99


With Sun Ra you get everything but consistency and predictability. My Brother the Wind Vol. II is no exception. On the original 1971 Saturn LP, side one consisted of sizzling Afrosoul, highlighted by June Tyson's vocals and Sunny's simmering "intergalactic organ" (a Farfisa). Ra discographer Robert Campbell calls it "spaced-out barbecue music," and it's one of the most accessible outings in the artist's first post-Chicago decade. Side two is a non sequitur, consisting of Sun Ra giving a new Minimoog a workout. Artist's prerogative — two Sun Ra's in one (often the case with his oddly juxtaposed LP tracks).

The ensemble pieces (1-6) were recorded at Variety Studios, probably in early 1970. This is a tight band, and with the exception of "Contrast," these tracks feature something not found on many studio recordings by Ra in the 1960s—a groove, one closer to roadhouse R&B than jazz. There's a bit of Memphis blues, a touch of Booker T & the MGs, albeit with Sun Ra's usual disregard for Top 40 niceties. The horns contribute some characteristically spirited solos.

However, nothing foreshadowed what awaited the listener who flipped the platter.

In 1969, Sun Ra had recorded on Moog synth modules at the New York midtown studio of Gershon Kingsley. Those recordings were issued on My Brother the Wind, Vol. 1 (although it was not titled "Vol. 1"— it only achieved that reference after "Vol. 2" appeared). The following year, drummer Tommy Hunter arranged a meeting between Sun Ra and synth pioneer Robert Moog in upstate Trumansburg, New York, to demonstrate the new Minimoog. Tracks 7 thru 11 were reportedly recorded at this demo session (see notes below), after which the inventor offered Sunny one of the first Minimoogs to take on the road. It was a custom model, and may have been handed off just before the unit appeared on the consumer market.

Because of the ad hoc nature of the session, the Moog works, though titled, sound improvised, as Sunny tests the keyboard action, seeks chromatic capabilities, and adjusts tones and timbres. Fans of Switched-On Bach may be horrified (just as many fans of Bach were horrified by Switched-On). With the Moog, Sun Ra was not looking to reproduce existing music; he was exploring the unknown, tapping into the future, levitating thru the cosmic flux, as the titles indicate.

Reissue by Scorpio.

Somewhere Else
The Wind Speaks
Sun Thoughts
Journey To The Stars
World Of The Myth "I"
The Design-Cosmos II
Otherness Blue
Somebody Else's World
Pleasant Twilight
Walking On The Moon
Format: LP
Label: Saturn Research
Catalogue numbers: SRA 2000

Distributed By-Scorpio Music

Barcodes & Identifiers:
Barcode-7 25543 29791 4
Media Condition: Mint (M)
Sleeve Condition: Mint (M)

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