Sun Ra - The Saturn Singles, Volume 1: 1954-1958 (LP)
Herman Poole Blount, better known to the world as Sun Ra, lived more musical lives in his 79 years on this planet (and others) than seems possible.
In the '30s he was the most rigorous bandleader in Birmingham, heading the Sonny Blount Orchestra and filling every waking moment with music or philosophical discussions; by the '40s he had moved to Chicago and performed with luminaries such as Wynonie Harris, Fletcher Henderson, and Coleman Hawkins.
By the '50s he had changed his name to Sun Ra and began performing with longtime Arkestra bandmates John Gilmore and Marshall Allen. Sun Ra started his own label, El Saturn (or Saturn), to release his own recordings as well as those featuring the Arkestra backing local R&B and doo-wop groups.
Though the genres showcased here are more pop than the world has come to expect from Sun Ra, the vibe and feel is purely cosmic, producing some of the wildest, strangest R&B ever created this side of the sun. Essential early Sun Ra performances and productions, 1954-1958.