Sun Ra – We Travel the Space Ways

We Travel the Space Ways

Sun Ra and His Myth Science ArkestraWe Travel the Space Ways El Saturn HK 5445 (1967)

Sort of a vault-clearing assemblage of material recorded in Chicago between 1956 and 1961.  It finds Ra exploring a swinging, bluesy kind of afro-futurist/sci-fi exotica, with a few tracks in a straighter big band mode, though many other Chicago-period recordings are fuller realizations of those styles.  Here the musicians sound just slightly tentative at times and the arrangements are shy of Sun Ra’s very best work.  Still, “Tapestry from an Asteroid” is quite lovely (better than the more polished version on The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra), and “Space Loneliness” and “New Horizons” are the highlights.