Jazz astronauts Sun Ra Arkestra have released their new album, Swirling.
It’s been over 20 years since fans last received an album from the collective. Featuring a rework of the band’s 1979 song “Seductive Fantasy,” the 90-minute goliath that is Swirling finds Sun Ra Arkestra digging deep into a more expansive, revamped sound. The LP also serves up two posthumous appearances from musicians Danny Ray Thompson and Atakatune.
A majority of the album expands upon their formidable sound first established under original bandleader Sun Ra, who died in 1993. Saxophonist Marshall Allen, who composed the album’s title track, now serves as the Arkestra’s leading light.
“I’m carrying on his work because he worked very hard and he wrote a lot of good music,” Allen told NPR. “It was something about him that I couldn’t get away. It was like a magnet. He draws you right in. It changed my whole destiny. He said, ‘We’re gonna play this music for the 21st century’—which was about 50 or 60 years away. And I was thinking to myself, ‘I gotta wait that long?’”
Listen to Swirling here: