From the original album liner notes in 1976:
Nothing has grown more tiresome in our hype-saturated era than claims of people being ahead of their time. Given the recent raising of extra-terrestrial consciousness generated by Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, I wouldn’t be surprised to find Sun Ra, whose Arkestra has been “out there” for over 20 years, hailed as a harbinger of R2D2 in some quarters. While the connection is not totally tenuous (compare the theme of “Lights on a Satellite,” written no later than 1959, with the musical greeting in Close Encounters), it is Sun Ra’s numerous compositional and ensemble techniques that make him truly prophetic.
From 1955, when Sun Ra began recording his Arkestra, one hears not only complex, irregular structures and model improvisation but miscellaneous percussion, odd meters and polyrhythms, electronic keyboards and the use of two keyboards at once. By the end of the ‘50s Sun Ra and his band were into the whole area of “noise elements” and collective sonic exploration, while his elaborate stage shows and vocal interludes paved the way for the currently popular Parliament/Funkadelic.
A Sun Ra concert is truly something else – more than music and more than musical theater, it is a self-created and self-contained mythic universe. Two dozen men and women, dressed in outrageous space garb, carry on for hours without pause, spanning all of jazz history from staples of the original Duke Ellington or Fletcher Henderson books to ethereal child-like tunes and the outraged caterwaulings of the entire horn section.
Enjoy all the musical magic and mischief that is Sun Ra on this classic Inner City re-release.