Credit: Isio Saba

Modern Harmonic has announced the reissue of Sun Ra‘s mid-’70s Impulse! album Pathways To Unknown Worlds, scheduled for release on February 22, 2019. 

Pathways To Unknown Worlds was originally recorded in early 1973 at Variety Recording Studios, New York. Dubbed Sun Ra & The Astro Infinity Arkestra, the avant-garde and free jazz album features many core members of his long-running bands, including Danny Davis, Marshall Allen, John Gillmore, Danny Thompson, Ronnie Boykins, Clifford Jarvis, and Akh Tal Ebah. 

The original release holds a unique marker point in the trajectory of Sun Ra’s life. The American jazz composer inked a deal with Impulse! in the early ’70s with plans to reissue dozens of his Saturn Records LPs and to record new material. He went on to  create four albums for Impulse! at the request of the label and 1972’s quadrophonic Astro Black was the first original work to launch from this batch. Reissues went on to dominate the release cycles for the first few years of their deal, and Pathways To Unknown Worlds, revealed in 1975 as the second record of original material, became the last album authorized for release through this venture.  

Modern Harmonic describes the album as “an aural Science Fiction novel, analogous to the contemporaneous writings of Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, Samuel R. Delany, and others who dwelled in unknown worlds where confusion and chaos often reign. A cybernetical soundscape for time travel through an inscrutable cosmos.”

Mastering for the reissue was conducted with the original four-track session reels, pressed on gold colored vinyl at Third Man. The digital/CD version contains bonus tracks “View From A Mountain Top,” “Intrinsic Energies,” and “Of Mythic Worlds.” The last two bonus songs were originally issued in 1980 on the Philly Jazz LP Of Mythic Worlds. 

The new reissue also adds the previously unreleased complete version of “Extension Out,” now clocking in at 13 minutes. The original gatefold design of the 1975 pressing has been restored, and there’s a sheet that details Ra’s spending plans with his advancement money from the label. 


01. Pathways To Unknown Worlds

02. Extension Out

03. Cosmo-Media

04. View From A Mountain Top*

05. Intrinsic Energies*

06. Of Mythic Worlds*

*CD/Digital Only

Pathways To Unknown Worlds LP lands February 22, with pre-order here