Killer a collection of rehearsals taped in the fall of 1969 at Ra's home studio in Philadelphia. The studio was also his home and the home of most of his Arkestra, here called the Astro- Ihnfinity Arkestra. The music here is meditative, soul nurturing medicine. Just about every musician from the Arkestra, even the renowned saxophonists John Gilmore and Marshall Allen, doubles on percussion. One might think, with a discography as extensive as the one Sun Ra boasts, that the scope of his work has been fully apprehended by this point, but The Intergalactic Thing demonstrates its seemingly bottomless depths. This is not a complete surprise: anyone who saw Ra and the Arkestra perform will remember the sight of the band quickly shuffling through an imposingly thick stack of sheet music, when Sunny would call the next tune on the program with an encrypted hint on his keyboard. Band members tell stories of spending long hours practicing a newly-written composition, only to never play it again.
Here, we have a taste of that which has been hidden: drawn from rehearsals at the Sun Ra house in Philadelphia from 1969, The Intergalactic Thing introduces a dozen never-before-heard pieces from Ra's songbook -- tunes that may have never even made it to the bandstand, let alone the recording studio -- along with a handful of reworkings of such Ra classics as 'Spontaneous Simplicity' and 'The Exotic Forest.' Without a doubt, this is one of the most important augmentations to the Sun Ra catalog in many a moon.
This double LP set comes in a beautiful gatefold jacket, with extensive liner notes by Ra discographer Robert L. Campbell and a download coupon for the full album.