The Solar-Myth Approach, Vol. 2

The Solar-Myth Approach, Vol. 2

The Sun Ra Arkestra

€ 36,95
  • LP
BYG Records
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The Solar-Myth Approach was first issued in 1971 as a double LP set on the French BYG/Actuel label, then repackaged as two stand-alone volumes in 1972. Founded in 1967, BYG was associated with the maverick arts journal Actuel. The label issued dozens of fascinating and groundbreaking free jazz, experimental, and psychedelic releases before a seemingly abrupt—and controversial—late-1972 bankruptcy.

Style-wise, the albums are a grab-bag of tracks from various undocumented sessions in New York and Philadelphia in the 1960s, while some possibly date to the late 1950s when Ra and the Arkestra were based in Chicago. (Ra decamped to New York in 1960, and to Philly in 1968, though he continued to record in NYC at Variety Studios for years.) There are no specific session logs for these tracks, and an identical personnel roster appears on both Solar-Myth LPs. Ra was not a meticulous annotator of his own releases. Ever the cosmic jester, he was inclined towards fabrication and wanton "misdirection"; the listed players, dates, locations, even titles, are sometimes unreliable. (To paraphrase author Bob Mielke, "Sun Ra's not for real—he's for myth!") Ra scholars can generally identify players by style and estimate recording years and determine location by sleuthing the revolving membership of the Arkestra; in addition, arranging techniques, instrumentation, title copyrights, concert itineraries, and studio atmosphere offer clues.

As with many albums compiled by the bandleader from disparate sessions, there's something on the Solar-Myth albums for every Ra fan to love—and some things that casual fans will find less "lovable." As we've noted before, with Sun Ra you get everything but consistency and predictability. The Solar-Myth tracks careen to extremes, styles are juxtaposed in a non sequitur fashion, and audio quality fluctuates. For a Sun Ra album, this qualifies as "cohesive." Some titles have entered the Ra canon (e.g., "Satellites Are Spinning," "They'll Come Back" "Outer Spaceways Inc."), while others appear here and nowhere else (e.g., "Realm of Lightning," "The Utter Nots," "The Adventures of Bugs Hunter").



  • 1.The Utter Nots11:00
  • 2.Outer Spaceways, Inc01:05
  • 3.Scene 1, Take 108:02


  • 1.Pyramids02:22
  • 2.Interpretation07:30
  • 3.Ancient Ethiopia02:43
  • 4.Strange Worlds08:27


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