The Heliosonic Tone-tette featuring Marshall Allen & Scott Robinson: Heliosonic Toneways Volume 1

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sun Ra’s famous album Heliocentric Worlds, alumni Marshal Allen/as-etc and Danny Thompson/bs-fl team up with a group of seven that includes Scott Robinson on the records’ original bass marimba along other instruments, and eight other artitst including Frank Lacy/tb, Philip Harper/tp, Yosvany Terry/as and Matt Wilson/dr.

The songs are all new and original, all composed by Robionson except for “Heliotone 7” by Allen, and there’s lots of space for the place of improvisation. The eleven  p ieces are all various “Heliotone” titles, both numbered and lettered, with “Heliotone 4A” and “4B” including Allen’s debut on grand piano and bass marimba. The other pieces include brooding bass lines as intros as on “Heliotone 1A” leading into some exciting free form improvs. Many of the pieces feel like loose conversations, but Wilson keep things together, as on the percussion “Heliotone 2A” with Robinson’s tympani or the form within freedom on “Heliotone 3A.” Allen still has a warm sound on alto, while Robinson’s tenor is exquisitely gruff. Lacy delivers some crying ‘bone work and Terry’s alto sears through the percolating percussion. Galileo would be pleased.

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