Fantastic. Another rare Saturn release makes its way into the digital realm. This time, it's "Some Blues But Not the Kind That's Blue", a nice 1977 date that's heavy on standards.
Aside from the two Sun Ra tunes (one of which had been unreleased prior to this), this is a pretty inside date with some major statements from Ra on piano and John Gilmore on tenor. Everyone gets a bit of solo room, and the flutes and bass clarinet add some really nice colors, especially on "My Favorite Things," a song so closely identified with the John Coltrane Quartet that this version is almost startling in its contrast to Coltrane's myriad versions.
Aside from the title track and the two earlier bonus takes of "I'll Get By," there is no bass player present, the low end falling mostly to Ra's piano. Luqman Ali's drumming, as always, is remarkable in its tasty understatement. The bonus tracks are a wonderful addition. "Untitled" was recorded at the same 1977 sessions but didn't make the album cut. The other tracks are rehearsals, presumably from the Ra house on Morton St. in Philadelphia. They're two takes on "I'll Get By" with Ra on organ and the great Ronnie Boykins on a particularly well-recorded bass with Akh Tal Ebah on trumpet on one take and John Gilmore on tenor on the other. It's interesting to hear these rehearsals in relation to the same song's arrangement from a few years later. Although recorded about a decade apart, "Some Blues But Not the Kind That's Blue" is of a piece with "Blue Delight": mostly standards albums that really put the spotlight on Sun Ra's piano playing and the tenor artistry of John Gilmore. Although the Arkestra is notorious for its outside playing and cacophonous tendencies, this album shows they could play it straight as well as anyone in the game. Wonderful stuff. - allmusic.com
Some Blues but not the Kind That's Blue (Ra)
I'll Get By (Turk-Ahlert)
My Favorite Things (Rodgers-Hammerstein)
Nature Boy (Ahbez)
Black Magic (Mercer-Arlen)
Bonus tracks on cd:
I'll Get By 1
I´ll Get By 2
Sun Ra & His Arkestra - Some Blues But Not The Kind That's Blue
(320 kbps, cover art included)