Sun Ra
Super-Sonic Jazz


4.5
superb

Review

by Tb1114 USER (7 Reviews)
June 14th, 2016 | 26 replies


Release Date: 1957 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Although this is but less than 1% of Sun Ra’s discog, it’s a solid starting point.

Sun Ra aims to contextualize miraculous imagery and concepts in his music. The incredible part about this is not that he does such a fine job, it’s that his music transcends those images and concepts altogether. The man was like Jimi Hendrix: he was a gifted artist who gifted his listeners with an all-new sound entirely. As far as rock n’ roll goes, there is pre-Hendrix and post-Hendrix rock. As far as jazz goes, there is jazz, more experimental jazz, and then there is Sun Ra. Hendrix took the blues and made it his own trippy concoction - Sun Ra did the same with jazz. The man claimed he was from Saturn, and if his music were to show for it… he was.

However, in this album we find Ra just barely getting in touch with his psychedelia and sticking mostly to his roots. “Supersonic Jazz” is generally a “traditional” jazz album laden with subtle contributions from another world. The album is fused with unique and progressive percussive elements (“India”, “Springtime in Chicago”), heart-wrenching horns (the “Sunology” series and “El is a Sound of Joy”), and is not without Ra’s unmatchable key-work (“Advice to Medics” & “Portrait of the Living Sky”). The album is also sprawling with dancing jazz explorations, such as “Soft Talk”, “Super Blonde”, and “Kingdom of Not” - a personal highlight, whose melody is guaranteed to in stick one’s head.

Supersonic Jazz, while not exactly revolutionary, will likely leave an impression. It is enjoyable and light, but still contains some of that Saturn-based, hard-hitting Ra - albeit more conventional. This is an excellent choice for those wanting to delve into Ra without hitting his heavy, more challenging “revolutionary” compositions.



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user ratings (49)
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
DrJohn
June 14th 2016


1041 Comments


Nice

AnimalsAsSummit
June 14th 2016


4327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Amazing album, way ahead of its time. Basically early jazz fusion

Digging: Teebee and K - Black Science

Tb1114
June 14th 2016


523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks ^



It's an awesome album,

although I wish it were remastered.

DrJohn
June 14th 2016


1041 Comments


dunno mate, I'm more often than not against the tampering, especially when it comes to jazz. I've come across a lot of great albums that besides the thin recording managed to convey 'the moment', being ruined by some wanker who wanted to make, let's say, the woodwind sound more 'massive' or in-stereo...

altertide0
June 14th 2016


3027 Comments


Great album, especially "India" is where it's at. The man's discography is ridiculous though.

DrJohn
June 14th 2016


1041 Comments


lol talk about industrious

bnelso55
June 14th 2016


1338 Comments


Yes! A Sun Ra review, and a well-written one at that. Good work! Like his Sleeping Beauty album, short and sweet. While that one may be my favorite, I do agree that this album is a good entry point for the discography. I like the moments that lace jazz tradition with tinges of the eccentricity that Sun Ra would eventually explore in depth. "Advice to Medics", "Portrait of the Living Sky", and "India" would be some of my top picks.

Tb1114
June 14th 2016


523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^ Thanks a bundle!



I'm pretty partial to both the Sunology's pts (The horns still give me chill), India, and Springtime in Chicago! Springtime in Chicago just makes me feel pleasant, like walking through a park with no thoughts or worries. I love it, along with it's weird percussive elements.



His discog is ridiculous. Have been trying to wade through some of it. So far I'm really diggin' The Antique Blacks a whole lot. My least favorite thus far is The Nubians of Plutonia, which is still pretty damn good.

FullOfSounds
February 18th 2017


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is interesting...

MillionDead
February 18th 2017


1119 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

His whole discography kills, really.

FullOfSounds
February 18th 2017


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

First time Sun Ra listener. Currently just feeling around the album to get what it sounds like, then I'm gonna give it an attentive listen later

FullOfSounds
February 24th 2017


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Man India is too good

SandwichBubble
February 24th 2017


10516 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Whole album is killer!!

Digging: Dirt - Never Mind Dirt - Here's the Bollocks

FullOfSounds
February 24th 2017


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah dude I'm really starting to love it, def a grower

SandwichBubble
February 24th 2017


10516 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wish I could recommend the next Sun Ra album you should listen to, but most of his discog is amazing and good and perfect.



So just listen to it all

FullOfSounds
February 24th 2017


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've heard this was the best starting point but I am absolutely clueless as to where I go next. Guess it'll an in order listen!

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2017


19134 Comments


Check Lanquidity and Jazz in Silhouette

altertide0
February 25th 2017


3027 Comments


^those 2 are pretty good choices if you find this one to be just the thing for you. Space Is the Place is another record a lot of people seem to like on their first listen.

If you want something a bit more "strange", but not too much (~post-bop difficulty), check The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra, Secrets of the Sun, When Sun Comes Out, God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be and/or Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy

For even stranger stuff (~avant/free jazz difficulty) move on to The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Other Planes of There, Space Probe, Atlantis and/or The Magic City.






And then, Strange Strings.

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2017


19134 Comments


Also check some of his live albums, him and his band were absolutely incredible live

Shadowmire
February 25th 2017


5118 Comments


i think atlantis is his best for what it's worth



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