Grooves & Samples #20: Sun Ra – Twin Stars of Thence (1978)

Grooves & Samples is a weekly dive into old dusty crates of jazz, funk, soul and beyond.

This weeks dive into the crates features abstract jazz legend Sun Ra and his Arkestra. This alien jazz prodigy from Saturn was certainly one of the most intriguing jazz musicians of the 20th century. He was a ridiculous yet genius musician who pushed his orchestra (Arkestra) to insane limits of musicality and experimentation for decades.

Honestly, I had a hard time getting into Sun Ra when I first became interested in jazz music, but over the years I began to appreciate the nature and breadth of his music. Sun Ra was an insanely prolific recording artist and also a pioneer of independent artist-run record labels. Many of his recordings were released with highly limited pressings and all kinds of custom and unique artwork/credits. This has made Sun Ra a gold mine among collectors.

One of his most accessible records is certainly his 1978 record Lanquidity, a fusion of jazz and funk sensibilities that pushes the boundaries of multiple genres. Our feature this week is “Twin Stars of Thence” that starts out with an insanely groovy bass line and builds up into a nearly 10 minute long jazz funk frenzy. There is just so much excellence to be appreciated in this late 70s fusion track. Check it out below and be sure to look out for Sun Ra records in any location, you never know what you can get your hands on!

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