Featuring material that was recorded in 1958 in 1959, this album wasn’t released until 1966 on Sun Ra’s own El Saturn Records. While material from this era was often more conventionally bop and swing with elements of early R&B, African rhythms, and blues, the exploratory nature of some of this percussion-heavy exotica (particularly “The Lady with the Golden Stockings” and the solo-heavy “Nubia”) clearly indicates the direction the bandleader would go in the ‘60s. “Watusa” would become a regular part of the band’s repertoire. Those who want to hear the band swing can turn to “Star Time” and “Images in a Mirror,” and the bandleader’s work in doo-wop with The Nu Sounds can be heard on “Black Sky and Blue Moon.” The version of “Aiethopia” here is a remake of “Ancient Aiethopia” from Jazz in Silhouette. The usual musical cast of characters are onboard the spaceship, but noted bop alto saxophonist James Spaulding is a strong presence as well. As a bonus, the last four tracks are unreleased stereo recordings that sound great with this album’s new 24-bit digital transfer.
The Lady with the Golden Stockings (a.k.a The Golden Lady)