You might think that The Heliocentrics are a jazz band, and you would be right. However, they’re too damn funky to be simply labeled as jazz. Perhaps you’re thinking, “Okay, so they’re a funk band.” Right again, but their willingness to be free and experimental touches upon the beautiful aspects of astral jazz travels. The Heliocentrics float somewhere in between while anchored by a discipline that is far beyond their years. The interplay between the drummer and bassist satisfies the hip hop head nod factor and ultimately, the band’s innate ability to work towards loops and grooves assure them Holy Grail status some 30 years down the line, when producers and MCs will sample this record to death.
There’s even a symphonic dissonance that recalls the treasured works of David Axelrod, as heard in “The Zero Hour” and “The American Empire.” All of these elements collide in “Age Of The Sun”: the locked-on target precision of the bass and drum, the punctuated screeches of the saxophones, and the flourish of tickled ivories spilling over the top. Sun Ra’s spirit looms over this album, but not to an overpowering degree. It’s just enough so that you can sense you’re no longer within Earth’s orbit while listening.