Chicago kosmische collective Bitchin Bajas covered Sun Ra’s “Angels and Demons At Play” back in 2017 on their brilliant Bajas Fresh double LP. And it was so good that it left the band’s fans clamoring for an encore. Well, here it is: Switched On Ra: eight awesome Sun Ra interpretations, a fitting tribute to a composer whose stature seems to grow with each passing year. The mood is reverent — but not too reverent, because where’s the fun in that? At various points throughout Switched, Cooper Crain, Rob Frye, and Daniel Quinlivan locate the ecstasy, the playfulness, and the mystery lurking in every tune, with interlocking rhythms, Saturnian melodies, and exotic overtones floating through the mix. “The music is a journey, the journey is endless,” Ra once wrote, and here, the Bajas prove themselves to be more than ready for the trip. | t wilcox
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