MAY 20

               SUN RA
           Solo Piano v1

               Recording Date:
                    May 20, 1977

                     Sun Ra    P


Without his Intergalactic Space Research Arkestra to hide behind, Sun Ra recorded Solo Piano, Vol. 1, revealing a tender, gentle side always lingering but never entirely present in his days leading his large ensemble. Cutting a pair of standards -- the traditional "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" and Duke Ellington's "Yesterday" -- and filling the rest of the disc out with original compositions, Ra extemporizes with a surprising mix of restraint and abandon, often sounding as if he is going to play it straight before launching into a key thrashing salvo that would ordinarily be accompanied by a burst of horns. Here, though, with the use of pedaling, Ra lets the notes drift off to space by themselves, lonely and floating in the void. Unfortunately, the production is far below par and Ra's piano sounds flat and lifeless throughout.(Jesse Jarnow - allmusic)

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