Super Sonic Jazz

Artist: Sun Ra

Year: 1957

Genre: Avant-Garde Jazz

Grade: A

Even though Super Sonic Jazz is one of Ra’s more “conventional” LPs, this is still some of the weirdest jazz out there. We start off in “India,” thick jungles of electric piano, wailing brass and choppy percussion. We’ll end with “Springtime in Chicago,” a beautifully surreal lullaby lost through the looking-glass. Ra’s “Advice to Medics” is to prescribe some “Medicine for a Nightmare.”

The unlikely combo of pianos (electric, acoustic and Wurlitzer), primitive percussion and a Stan Kenton-sensibility prophesy the shape of jazz to come. The experimental tracks go hand-in-hand with the traditional bebop jams, making Super Sonic Jazz one of the most astonishing albums of the decade.

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