In the years since Evidence discontinued its ambitious Sun Ra archival project, the interstellar bandleader's popularity has steadily grown while the quality of reissues declined. That situation has been rectified with a new batch of Evidence finds, led by this two-disc set of previously unheard Ra epics.
Recorded in 1973, Cymbals and Crystal Spears were supposed to be released as part of Ra's deal with Impulse! Records but, not entirely surprisingly, the agreement imploded soon after it was launched. It's hard to imagine what else Impulse! was looking for. Both discs capture Ra's Arkestra at its explosive, outlandish best, slimming down for the extended outer-space blues rants on Cymbals and then swelling to a massive, room-filling band based around Moog, thundering percussion and John Gilmore's squealing sax for the more raucous Crystal Spears. Crucial additions to one of the most awesome back catalogues around.