To be honest, trying to write something meaningful on a Sun Ra release is always going to be an exercise in humility. Having seen the Arkestra perform live a couple of times and owning a few Sun Ra LPs, I’d class myself as a fan. Although by no means have I even gently brushed the vast surface of the Sun Ra back catalogue (well over a hundred albums).
In this re-issue instance, Strut present the definitive edition of Sun Ra’s classic ‘Lanquidity’ album from 1978 with brand new 4LP box set and 2CD editions, featuring the widely distributed version of the album alongside alternative mixes by Bob Blank. originally released in limited quantities for a 1978 Arkestra gig at Georgia Tech. Both versions of the album are cut loud at 45 rpm over 2LPs each.
Recorded overnight at Bob Bank’s Blank Tapes on 17th July 1978 after the Arkestra had appeared on Saturday Night Live, the album is unique in the Ra catalogue. “Most critics felt that it was more of a fusion-inspired record,” explains Michael Ray. “As the name suggests, the album is liquid and languid.” Bob Blank continues, “Musically, it was very ad hoc and freeform. There were horn charts but most tracks came out of improvised jams. Sun Ra just did his thing.”