Sun Ra – Cosmos Cobra COB 37001 (1976)
In July of 1976 The Sun Ra Arkestra played the Montreux festival. Afterward, they lived in Paris for a couple months. During that time they recorded Cosmos for the obscure French label Cobra. The album has a laid-back, feel-good vibe. Yet it is never too easy. There are still some skronky horn solos, but they blend into mellow electric bass lines and leisurely accompaniment tempos. John Gilmore lends a really beautiful inside/outside solo on “Jazz From an Unknown Planet” toward the end too. The album also has that characteristically 1970s warm and round production aesthetic. The music might be viewed as a synthesis of a lot of typical Arkestra styles, going back to stuff from the 1950s up through the fusion era, blended together as opposed to alternating to and fro. Nothing here a Sun Ra fanatic hasn’t heard elsewhere, but the overall chilled-out ambiance is quite nice and this sustains itself well from start to finish. A really nice one — among the more pleasant Arkestra discs of the era.