Something was definitely in the air in the late 70s, as the end of the decade saw Sun Ra turning out some of the mellowest, and certainly the funkiest jams of his storied career. And although you can't really go wrong with any of the band's output during this period, there are a few albums that rise to the top. Lanquidity, featured some time ago here at the Heat Warps, is one of them. Strange Celestial Road is another. Riding the dark sludgy grooves that propelled Lanquidity to remarkable depths, Strange Celestial Road comes off like a dusty, inexplicably exuberant big band record from the future. Sun Ra's heavily effected electric piano is definitely the focal point here, and while he pulls miles of wild sounds from his machine (at times mimicking the whirr of a dentist's drill to extraordinary effect), none of the album's three tracks skitter off into mayhem as they so easily could. Rather, a skeletal groove threads throughout the proceedings, ultimately tightening the reins and pulling the players, as well as the listener, back to the slow churn of its funky core. A heady affair if there ever was one.