Blue-in-Green:RADIO

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

'Discipline of Sun Ra' by EABS


"The world is in such a bad condition that if they don't find what you call a redeemer, every man, woman and child on this planet will be eliminated."


With 2020 goggles on, these words from the iconic Sun Ra can be seen as fairly prophetic having been uttered years earlier.  But spreading the ultimate message of peace amongst the foreboding presence of disaster was long a facet of Sun Ra's make-up.  Having been sent from Saturn with the intention of healing the world through music, the prolific pianist, composer and bandleader has served as the shining light for cosmic and otherworldly jazz with not only his compositions, but his entire philosophy, placed upon a peddle stool by fans the world over.


And through the new album release 'Discipline of Sun Ra', the Polish jazz ensemble EABS now unveil their own ode to the masterful and ground-breaking work by one of the forefathers of today's jazz.  


In paving their own way and establishing their own *discipline* of jazz, EABS have always walked that path by paying homage to the works of those that have served as great inspiration to the band.  Whether that inspiration rested in their 2017 debut paying tribute to Polish film music composer and pianist Krzysztof Komeda; or their subsequent 2019 sophomore release, 'Slavic Spirits', which saw them seek inspiration from the 1970s jazz-rock-electronic fusion period of Czeslaw Niemen's music, merging that with themes of Slavic Melancholia, mythology and Polish demonology. 


While 'Discipline of Sun Ra' is officially the third album by EABS, music under the collective's proverbial umbrella has expanded this year to include two fantastic releases by the group's offshoot project BÅ‚oto with 'Erozje' and 'Kwiatostan'.  Who, in truth, could have really considered that the tirelessly prolific EABS would be deterred by a global pandemic?!  While the arts communities have struggled to stay afloat, to stay inspired, EABS members have persevered and continued to amass their awesome catalogue even amidst a world where such feats would have seemed impossible to many.


"It’s after the end of the world. Don’t you know that yet?”  The chilling and very self-aware words introduce the first of the album's seven tracks with 'Brainville' and really provide an astonishing bridge between Ra's teachings - for lack of a better word - and the climate that this album by EABS is being unveiled in.  At the risk of perhaps projecting a potentially negative depiction though, the music throughout is far from being a project dwelling within the worst of times: it is a fun, dynamic and thrilling ode to the style of cosmic jazz Ra's legacy has been built upon.  The sonic masterpiece that is 'Interstellar Low Ways' is incredible, the bouncy and eclectic 'The Lady with the Golden Stockings' is a marvel as is the album highlight, 'UFO' which manages to conserve a staggering amount of energy for a magnificent closing number.


While we can attribute the opening words of this article to Sun Ra, we can also attribute the following, "The earth moves in a certain rhythm, a certain sound, a certain note.  When the music stops the earth will stop and everything upon it will die."  In EABS, the music is absolutely in fantastic hands and their continued and inspired efforts will ensure the earth will keep turning for some years more.


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