What Is Sun Ra's Best Album?

From Birmingham, Alabama to Saturn and beyond, help us identify the avant-jazz voyager’s must-hear works.

What Is Sun Ra's Best Album?

WE'RE ASKING SOME BIG QUESTIONS in the next MOJO: which recordings in the immense discography of sui generis bandleader Sun Ra and his Arkestra do you need to hear? It’s a grand undertaking. Listeners can get lost in his huge, interstellar output, where Big Band sounds, free jazz, electronics and more travel through an ancient-to-the-future, Egyptological sci-fi filter to end up… where, exactly?

<em>The Heliocentric Worlds Of Sun Ra Volume 1</em>: music from another dimension.

So where should the beginner head? Early works like 1959’s transitional Jazz In Silhouette, or 1965’s freed-up The Heliocentric Worlds Of Sun Ra? 1973’s accessible Space Is The Place, or 1978’s dreamy Lanquidity, maybe followed up by 1982’s uneasy listening favourite Nuclear War?

Tell us your choices and reasoning via MOJO’s Twitter (@mojomagazine #SunRa) and Facebook. As ever, the best suggestions will appear in the How To Buy section of the next issue. Thank you!