October 25, 2006

How Low Can You Go?

"After a search lasting two years, this heretofore legendary appearance by Sun Ra and Members of the Arkestra was identified by John Szwed and James Wolf. Ed Bland (producer, arranger and conductor of this LP) told John Szwed that Sunny was hired to write lead sheets for Curly Williams, who contributed much of the music on the disc and whistled the tunes to Sunny. He recalls Ra playing keyboards and the Arkestra's saxophonists participating. Sunny can be heard on tack piano (an instrument he was not otherwise known to play), and more recognizably on organ. Marshall and John are clearly present; the use of morrow (playing few, sharply articulated notes as to avoid the extreme bends characteristic of Marshall's home-made instrument) is particularly striking." (Robert Campbell and Chris Trent, from The Earthly Recordings Of Sun Ra', 2nd edition)

Roz Croney | How Low Can You Go

Sun Ra moonlighting. His participation on Dan & Dale's 'Batman And Robin' has been well documented, and there's a reissue out; this one on the other hand is not so readily available. (It turns up on eBay every now and then, fetching anything from $10 to $100 depending on the description given).

What we have is a rather cool limbo album performed by one Roz Croney (whom nobody seems to know who is or whatever happened to), backed by various Arkestra members. A research foundation of sorts was set up to find out more and possibly even locate her, but unfortunately it folded. Producer Ed Bland recalls making the album though.

I have no idea how this holds up to other limbo records, but I am quite fond of it, even without the Sun Ra connection. Although that does help.

Roz Croney | How Low Can You Go?

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