Sun Ra - Pathways To Unknown Worlds
Recorded at Variety Recording Studios, New York City in early 1973, Pathways to Unknown Worlds was originally released in 1975 as part of Sun Ra's ill-fated and short-lived ABC/Impulse! Records partnership. ABC offered an ambitious deal that promised dozens of remastered editions of Sun Ra's Saturn back catalogue along with a slew of new titles. The launch fizzled shortly after liftoff, but not before introducing two vital albums to the Ra catalogue: Astro Black and Pathways.
Ra’s original Pathways liner notes expressed his disdain for the past and his vision of the future. But the future here rendered by Ra seems more dystopian than utopian, and our travelogue opens with 'Pathways To Unknown Worlds,' as bass clarinet (Eloe Omoe), baritone sax (Danny Ray Thompson), and oboe (Ra mainstay Marshall Allen) slither about while percussion refracts below. Ra enters quietly, adding bell-toned sounds from a Yamaha YC-45D combo organ. This model, introduced in 1972, featured a pitch-bend ribbon controller which allowed the player, with a slide of the finger, to produce theremin or synthesizer sounds. The track also features Akh Tal Ebah on Space Dimension Mellophone (a mellophone with a contrabassoon reed) and trumpeter Kwame Hadi.
The complete thirteen minute version of 'Extension Out' debuts here, including the opening five-and-a-half minutes that were omitted from the 1975 LP. Danny Davis joins Marshall Allen in the opening salvo for a threatening alto sax duel, with Omoe’s bass clarinet and Ebah's trumpet agitating over multiple percussionists. Clifford Jarvis, one of the most powerful drummers ever to perform with the Arkestra, is the rhythmic bedrock on each track.
The LP closes with 'Cosmo-Media,' in which Ra and Boykins lead off with intergalactic conversation. Tenor sax stalwart John Gilmore finally gets a wild showcase, as Hadi’s torrid trumpet flourishes. The work draws to a meditative close as Ra’s synth and Boykins’ bass flutter off to unknown worlds.
Pathways To Unknown Worlds [12:30]
Extension Out [12:59]
- US import
- Available exclusively from independent stores
- Remastered from the original four-track session reel
- Housed in deluxe gatefold jacket featuring the original artwork
- Includes liner notes by Brother Cleve
- Includes insert of a facsimile typed document entitled "How Some Of The Advance Money Will Be Used," insightfully listing how they planned to spend the proceeds of their major label deal
Sun Ra - Space Is The Place LP
Sun Ra - Astro Black LP
Sun Ra & His Outer Space Arkestra - A Fireside Chat With Lucifer LP | CD
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