September 17, 2017

Sun Ra - Sun Sound Pleasure (1959)


Sun Sound Pleasure is one of the many Sun Ra recordings with a delayed release (recorded in 1959, but not released until 1970). The album is not the best thing I've heard from Sun Ra and not too notable when stood against the rest of his discography. On the other hand, Sun Ra is a creative genius whose mediocre works are light years beyond many artists' very finest, so there's not much going wrong for the Arkestra either. All of the swinging and/or moody songs are carried out by a mid-sized band--similar to the arrangements for Jazz In Silhouette or Nubians From Plutonia. Unlike those albums, however, Sun Sound Pleasure does not make me want to enjoy recreational activities on the surface of Mercury, but there are other things to be found here given that its style is in another ballpark. A bit of the typical Sun Ra weirdness can be picked up, but overall this is a very modest outing by the Arkestra; feeling like an older film score more than anything else. Charles Mingus fans might honestly enjoy this album more than Sun Ra patrons for the gospel-like wails from the rich horn arrangements. A vocalist also appears on two songs and while vocal jazz isn't a favorite of mine, I love the singer's comfortable rendition of Round Midnight. Sun Sound Pleasure is quality Sun Ra material, but I won't be replaying this as much as I do Jazz In Silhouette or Nubians From Plutonia. I guess most of the reason is because big band and vocal jazz is not my thing; if it's the 1950s Arkestra, I prefer their primitive psychedelic sound. The bonus tracks on my CD reissue are perhaps better than the feature material, but those make up another album on their own--Deep Purple--which I might talk about some other time.

Sample

Sun Sound Pleasure