One of the finest of Sun Ra's late period albums, 1978's Lanquidity is also one of Sun Ra's most traditionally "listenable" efforts, due in large part to its more straight-ahead (for Sun Ra, at least) rhythmic arrangements and melodic lyricism. Imagine a quiet storm free jazz album and you'll get some idea of the general tone of this record. Ra eschews the overtly atonal dissonance of much of his other music, and his keyboard work here subtly employs an array of electric piano and analog Moog and Arp synthesizers, instruments which were the backbone of much of the jazz fusion of the period. The slow, elegant title track features great horn work from the Arkestra, which at this time included the great trumpeter Eddie Gale and tenor sax player John Gilmore – their moody, smoldering interplay over a slow groove floats over Ra's nuanced keyboard work, which continually shifts the harmonic tone of the track in unexpected and subtly beautiful ways. "Where Pathways Meet" is a chunky, loping big-band Arkestra groover featuring nice guitar work (an instrument rarely highlighted in Ra's ouvre), and "That's How I Feel" is an ethereal stunner that could easily pass for a lost acid jazz stormer. Ra shades the track's elastic bassline groove with warm, oblique Fender Rhodes accents; and this is Sun Ra at his prettiest. "Twin Stars Of Thence" is also a standout, and the amazing "There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of)" featuring the always incredible vocalist June Tyson and her whispered vocal interplay with Ra, is an epic, lethargic groove. A great "gateway" record for those new to Sun Ra and an essential record for those who already know of his genius. Five tracks in all.
- black vinyl pressing
- music label: Philly Jazz 2008
reviewed by Language 05/2005