The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra
by Sun Ra
Released: Jan 1961
Label: Savoy Jazz
With his elaborate costumes and intricate mythology, Sun Ra was the oddball of the already odd sci-fi age. But the pageantry of his presentation was rooted in his musical genius, and The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra proves the man has chops. It's a transitional album, hinting at the more traditional bop of his earlier work on tracks such as the legendary "Bassism" while "The Beginning" and "China Gates" point at the celestial journeys that he would soon undertake. As an added bit of trivia, famed Dylan producer Tony Wilson was behind the boards on this one.