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JT Essentials: Marshall Allen & the Arkestra

"Jazz in Silhouette," "Atlantis," "Babylon" and more

The Arkestra's Marshall Allen and Tara Middleton perform in Brooklyn in May 2016, as part of the Red Bull Music Academy concert “Where Spaceways Meet: A Night of Spiritual Jazz”

Sun Ra & His Arkestra
Jazz in Silhouette
(Saturn, 1959)

The final album recorded during Sun Ra’s Chicago era demonstrates why he was such an in-demand big-band arranger and writer. The all-originals set sits comfortably next to Ellington and Basie in sound and quality, with the notable exception of the tribal “Ancient Aiethopia.” Key tracks include the recorded debut of the longtime favorite “Enlightenment,” the brief and concise “Horoscope” and a raucous “Blues at Midnight” that offers great solos from Allen and others.

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