Sun Ra – The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra Savoy MG 12169 (1962)
Sun Ra’s one and only album for Savoy was The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra. Along with Jazz By Sun Ra, Vol. 1 and the delayed release of Sound of Joy, it was far and away the most hi-fi recording of his music to date. The sound is mostly beatnik coffee house swing/bop, but with a little more of the percussion-heavy exotica allowed to shine through. It’s all a bit more reigned in than the various 50s recordings that began to surface in the coming years on Ra’s own El Saturn label, but still good. Anyone wanting to test the waters with Ra should find this a fine place to start, bearing in mind that Ra’s recordings get quite a bit more adventurous and daring from here on out.