Label: BYG Records
The second instalment of a landmark session by one of the most unique figures in black music is a shower of sounds that have come straight from another world. Sun Ra and the various groups he led were as prolific as they were innovative. By conservative estimates they produced around 200 recordings over a fifty-year period, and the early 70s was as fertile a time as any. In a typical burst of creative energy Ra and an ensemble he dubbed The Solar Myth Arkestra produced enough material to be spread over two albums or two volumes, that amount to a kind of sonic odyssey which has no end of twists and turns, as befits a group of such singular character.
This second instalment picks up where its predecessor left off but also has several interesting new focal points. While the echoes of Ellington are clear throughout the session there are compelling passages of Afro-centric polyrhythmic invention as the spotlight falls on drummers and percussionists Clifford Jarvis, Lex Humphries and Nimrod Hunt. But it is vocalist June Tyson, perhaps one of the most overlooked of Ra’s accompanists, who takes a star turn on the mesmerizing ‘Strange Worlds.’
Re-mastered so all the fine details of the orchestrations can be fully appreciated, this new version of The Solar Myth Approach Vol 2 is a highlight in Sun Ra’s sprawling discography, and an essential companion piece to The Solar Myth Approach Vol 1.