Sun Ra - The Magic City (1966)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:03 AM

The Magic City is an album by the American Jazz musician Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra. Recorded in two sessions in 1965, the record was released on Ra's own Saturn label in 1966. The record was reissued by Impulse! in 1973, and on compact disc by Evidence in 1993.

It is notable especially for the title track, on which "the Arkestra's range of feelings and sound is expressed in a design that's simply unprecedented in jazz". While it begins with use of tape echo recalling the experiments on Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow, the key features quickly emerge: Ra's simultaneous piano and clavioline intertwining with Boykins' bass as the underpinning for new long-forms of group music-making which draw on varying sub-ensembles from the Arkestra through the course of the piece.

'The boundaries of Sun Ra's self-proclaimed "space jazz" underwent a transformation in the mid-'60s. The Magic City is an aural snapshot of that metamorphic process. Many enthusiasts and scholars consider this to be among Ra's most definitive studio recordings.' Lindsay Planer
The title Magic City refers to Ra's home town of Birmingham, Alabama, and to a large metal sign with the words 'Birmingham, The Magic City' erected in front of the railway station in 1926. The cover drawing, by Sun Ra, directly references the dome of the station. Ra grew up next to the post office and close to the main station, where, 'as a child, Sonny could look out the window and see the big sign over the railroad tracks that greeted visitors to The Magic City'
01. The Magic City
02. The Shadow World
03. Abstract "eye"
04. Abstract "I"

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