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Modern Harmonic

Sun Ra - Celestial Love LP

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$48.00 AUD
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Originally released in 1984, Celestial Love was recorded at Variety Studios in New York City in September of 1982, and was Sun Ra's last studio album to be released by El Saturn Records. Much of the album's content also appeared on the full-length Nuclear War record which was issued in Europe by post-punk label Y Records in 1984. Far from the brash, apocalyptic radicalism of the single "Nuclear War," this set is closer to the more straightforward end of the Arkestra canon. As with much of Ra's later, Philadelphia-period work, this release incorporates earlier jazz and swing tunes as well as his own compositions, linking jazz's past with its present and future. Duke Ellington is paid tribute in the form of two tracks, "Sophisticated Lady" (which starts out slow and blue, then emerges swinging at full power) and a truly cheerful "Drop Me Off in Harlem." Both of the numbers sung by June Tyson are, of course, absolutely delightful. "Sometimes I'm Happy" (which appeared as the B-side of the "Nuclear War" single) balances Tyson's heartfelt crooning with freewheeling horns that edge in the direction of free-form chaos, but stay reined in just enough to keep the song straight on the path. A rendition of the Charlie Chaplin standard "Smile" is nothing short of inspirational, just pure, unbridled optimism. The rest of the tracks are Ra originals, including "Interstellarism," a swaying remake of his 1959 piece "Interstellar Low Ways," and two versions of "Nameless One," with some smoking synth work on "Nameless One No. 3." The entire set is thoroughly invigorating, simply a pure expression of joy and positive energy.