Monday, May 14, 2018


Sun Ra & His Arkestra with Chamber Orchestra,

Ra led his Arkestra in a "Jazz Symphonique" at the Théâtre-Carré Saint-Vincent, Orléans, France, on October 27, 1990.

This rare concert was issued in the UK on a 2-CD set entitled Pleiades, on the Leo label in 1993. However, that album's audio sounds like a direct transfer from a source DAT with no attempt at sonic adjustments. Consequently, the instruments and channels are out of balance, and volume levels are erratic. The violins, drums, and tabla are well-represented, often at the expense of other instruments and soloists. In ensemble passages the horns generate enough collective power to blast through, but some soloists are exiled to the sonic shadows. The tabla (which sporadically seem to have been placed directly near a mic, or vice-versa) are often intrusively loud, and the bass drum accents explode above the limits of comfort.

Back in 1993, digital audio editing was a relatively young technology, and the more sophisticated systems were largely housed in professional studios. Software, plugins, waveform editors, and sonic juicers were primitive compared to what can be accomplished today at home on a laptop. Consequently, this 2018 digital edition offers a remarkable upgrade to that 1993 CD. Our version offers a better mix—the best that can be accomplished from a seemingly haphazard stereo capture with no isolated stems.

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