Day 25: Sun Ra & The Qualities – It’s Christmas Time

Day 25 of our charity Advent Calendar in aid of The Steve Reid Foundation.

We made it! 25 days and 25 amazing tracks to count us down to Christmas Day. A big thank you to the artists and labels that took part this year, and of course everyone who has listened and supported.

Whilst you’re tucking into your turkey today we bring you a 1957 cosmic seasonal number to play us out from the out-of-space jazz crusader Sun Ra. It may come as a surprise to hear a wonderfully catchy doo-wop Christmas single from the Ra, but after launching his El Saturn label in the 50s he dabbled early on in R&B, collaborating with local groups in and around Chicago.

One of those groups was The Qualities, an unidentified male vocal group that got into the studio in November 1957, and with Sun Ra leading the way, took a Christmas theme to another planet. Recorded at home with Sun Ra on harmonium and sparse backing from unknown players of guitar, bells and wood block, the track is the perfect final present to help all of you blast off to Saturn for a very spacey Xmas. Happy holidays!

You can now download ‘It’s Christmas Time’ and the entire 25-day calendar from our Bandcamp, but be quick as you only have until the 31st December to get it all. It’s also pay-what-you-like, with all proceeds going to The Steve Reid Foundation, a charity founded by Gilles Peterson that aims to support musicians in dedication to the visionary jazz drummer.

‘It’s Christmas Time’ is taken from Sun Ra – Singles, a 65 track collection from Strut, available as a triple vinyl album, 11 x 7″ boxset or CD triple album. Buy from Bandcamp.

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