Pictures of Infinity

Pictures of Infinity

by Sun RaSun Ra


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Although no precise date is given, these five cuts are thought to have been documented circa 1967-1968 by Sun Ra (piano) and his Arkestra in New York City, where the band was in residence at the time. There is a mixture of older works as well as newer selections on 1971's Pictures of Infinity. That said, even the established compositions -- most notably the full-throttled reading of "Saturn" that commences the collection -- are given fresh sonic visages. Tenor saxophonist John Gilmore is particularly potent with his flawless fluidity running melodic yet hard bopping lines over top of the solid rhythm section. He gives a hearty personality to his interjections as they dart in and out of the spiraling mile-a-minute arrangement. Bassist Ronnie Boykins is commanding, especially as his solo emerges out of drummer Nimrod Hunt's rapid-fire timekeeping. "Song of the Sparer" is an exquisite and rarely documented tune that begins with some intricate phrases from Ra before evolving into a languid and practically dirgelike improvisational piece. "Spontaneous Simplicity" is highlighted by some warm and inviting interplay between a flutist -- presumably either Danny Davis or Pat Patrick -- and Ra, whose strident piano accompaniment is remarkably suited to the earthy nature of the woodwind's ethereal, alternately liberating and plaintive sound. Immediately contrasting the more rural expressions is the aggressive extended free jazz attack heard on "Somewhere There." The bombastic percussion and practically sadistic sax-and-drum onslaught thrash about in an almost definitive example of the sheer power possessed by the Arkestra. The "Outer Spaceways Incorporated" chant concluding this long-player is similar to other versions and remains an affirmative statement juxtaposing an inescapably dissonant introduction with the playful nature of the singalong quality of the verses.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/17/2017
Label: Greyscale
UPC: 5060230869643
catalogNumber: 5
Rank: 117061

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sun Ra   Primary Artist,Piano,Clavioline
John Gilmore   Drums,Tenor Saxophone
Marshall Allen   Flute,Drums,Oboe,Alto Saxophone
Ronnie Boykins   Bass
Clifford Jarvis   Percussion
Robert Cummings   Flute,Alto Saxophone
Ahk Tal Ebah   Trumpet
Kwame Hadi   Trumpet
Ali Hassan   Trombone
Nimrod Hunt   Drums
Teddy Nance   Trombone
Pat Patrick   Flute,Drums,Baritone Saxophone
Bernard Pettaway   Trombone
James Jackson   Flute,Drums
Danny Davis   Flute,Alto Saxophone

Technical Credits

Alan Bates   Producer
Sun Ra   Composer

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