spaceways incorporated – thirteen cosmic standards by sun ra and funkadelic

a nice relaxed bit of jazz for the evening of a long day… i have to be honest that i can’t talk even remotely knowledgeably about jazz.  however, “i know what i hate, and i don’t hate this”. this is, as it claims openly to be, vandermark, drake and mcbride performing music of sun ra and funkadelic.

okay, so the first laid back song, fantastically titled tapestry from an asteroid, gives way to something more like what i was expecting; a bit grubby and almost verging on a morphine sound (bought one of their albums the other day, to go into the collection and future contemplation!).

without having the original references to hand, on one level i wonder if there’s anything missing from the interpretations these three have made of two stand-out performers of their time. i am a little taken aback as i listen further that i do know at least two of the songs, and can detect remembered differences to the originals.

in and of themselves as compositions and performances, this reminds me why i love ken vandermark and quite happily have never further explored modern jazz. he treads a line between jazz, funk and off-track rock, effortlessly, that i’ve not witnessed of anyone else. from what i can tell, his contemporaries are literally the people in his bands, because no one else seems to do what he does otherwise.

i believe my foray into the associated works of vandermark and labelmates on atavistic was thanks to the very different (to this) and eclectic boxhead ensemble releases, in particular the last place to go. the atmospheres these create are so vastly distinct so as to be almost unrelatable.

but for instruments that otherwise bug me a bit (saxophones especially), i’ve never cringed through a spaceways inc. song… though i have to say that i don’t quite get the art deco references in the cover aesthetic!


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