Exposé Online banner

Sun Ra — Disco 3000 - Complete Milan Concert 1978
(Art Yard CD-001, 1978/2007, 2CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2008-10-01

Disco 3000 - Complete Milan Concert 1978 Cover artMost of the Sun Ra I’ve heard before (and I’m far from an expert on his extensive catalog) was in large ensemble settings. Here we get an Italian quartet gig from 23 January, 1978, featuring the leader on piano, electronic keyboards, and rhythm machine, along with cohorts John Gilmore on saxes, Luqman Ali on drums, and Michael Ray on trumpet; June Tyson joins on vocals at times. Initially, the music leans heavily towards the free end of the spectrum, with a steady pulse only making incidental appearances. But in typical eclectic Ra fashion, the spaced-out jamming is counterbalanced by some composed parts, notably the lovely “Echos of the World” (yes, that’s how it’s spelled), with some comparatively conventional piano from Ra and some great sax from Gilmore. Ra hangs out on the piano for quite a while, through “Germinology” and “Sky Blues,” both of which work into loose swinging grooves, reminding us that these guys have a firm grasp on the entire history of jazz. The original LP release featured only three tracks, including the side-long title track, which is the wildest part of the concert. Certainly those who heard the original version missed out on some of the incredible variety to be had, especially the previously mentioned piano-based tunes, and “Spontaneous Simplicity,” with its slinky synthesizer groove – not quite funky, but headed that way – and trumpet showcase. Of course, no Sun Ra album would be complete without some goofy chanting: this lengthy set only features a bit of “Space is the place” near the beginning and “We travel the spaceways from planet to planet” at the very end. If you’re like me and don’t really know where to begin with this mind-bogglingly prolific artist, you could probably do worse than this fun and interesting set as a representative of the late 70s.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2007 releases, 1978 recordings

Related artist(s): Sun Ra

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Christian Décamps et Fils - Murmures... – Whatever Ange may have been through in the years since their progressive heyday in the 70s, it is clear from this release that lead singer Christian Décamps has found a way to translate this artistic...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues