"Black Sun Ensemble might be the ultimate example of desert rock. Guitarist Jesus Acedo summons up inspiration from influences like the Grateful Dead, Captain Beefheart and John Fahey, leading his band through a series of fascinating, atmospheric compositions, all of which fall somewhere between the psychedelic and the mystic.” RECORD COLLECTOR Black Sun Ensemble hit like classic John Fahey one sec and a fuzz-boxed Jeff Cotton the next. The instruments come at ya with these notes that look like peacock feathers, but feel more like whale bones when they hit. Incredible. " -FORCED EXPOSURE NO. 10
This is the world of Jesus Acedo of Tucson, AZ, maybe the greatest guitar player in psychedelia the last 20 years.
Bio from the Black Sun Ensemble website: A self-titled debut album was released by Tucson's Pyknotic Records in 1985. Its extraordinary qualities led Acedo to sign a five-year contract with England's Reckless Records, and in 1988 the label released "Black Sun Ensemble" (1988), "Lambent Flame" (1989) and "Elemental Forces" (1991). These records were a critical and commercial success. At the time, Offbeat exclaimed that BSE was "possibly, the world's coolest band." After touring the West Coast with Camper Van Beethoven in support of "Lambent Flame" the Ensemble was captured live on the first side of "Tragic Magic" (1992) for Rough Trade. The second side was a magical suite of mostly acoustic pieces that presaged the extensive title track of the later "Sky Pilot" CD.
The inexorable weight of personnel changes, drugs and unexpected success eventually unbalanced Acedo's mental stability. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1992 and spent the next two years in and out of local hospitals. During his breakdown, the band recorded the ill-fated "Psycho Master El" album for Tucson's San Jacinto Records (1994). This record was remixed and remastered in 1998 for Camera Obscura Records. The results were issued as "Sky Pilot" in 1999, which also included rare Black Sun singles tracks and a brand new 20-minute work called "Sky Pilot Suite". "Sky Pilot" got rave reviews by critics and sold well locally and internationally. The Ensemble began playing regular gigs, impressing a whole new generation of listeners. News of Black Sun's return to the stage was appreciated by grunge-rock legend Mark Arm of Mudhoney, who engineered a shared performance at Tucson's Club Congress in early 2001. In February 2001, Camera Obscura reissued the debut Black Sun Ensemble recording from 1985, again to extraordinary reviews.
On the wave of recent success, Acedo has brought himself back from madness, poverty and potential obscurity. He is now recapturing his old fire by re-inventing himself, and is working to re-establish his rightful place as one of the key guitarists of our time. This was reinforced by the 2002 CD "Hymn of the Master", and even more so by the 2003 CD "Starlight". BSE continue to be a hit at annual SXSW festivals and elsewhere. In October 2006, Black Sun Ensemble released their 11th studio release, "Bolt of Apollo", licensed by SlowBurn Records to Camera Obscura Records. The release, celebrating the band's 20th anniversary, was met with excitement from fans all over the world. Currently, BSE is in post production on their next album called "Across the Sea of Id: The Way to Eden."
'Lambent Flame' was Black Sun Ensemble's second album for Reckless, and maybe the best of the three released in this UK label. Odin Helgison had joined the band on vocals (the two previous releases were instrumental), the production was good and Acedo more confident than ever. A true masterpiece, sadly never reissued, after Reckless' folding.
Rolling Stone-June 29, 1989: Now imagine the later Ummagumma-style Floyd zoning on psilocybin and frying out in the Arizona sun. Lambent Flame the second album by Tucson’s Black Sun Ensemble, is serious ghost-dance psychedelia, starring the agro-raga guitar of leader Jesus Acedo. The cosmic flippancy of titles like "Sunset on the Sphinx” and "Da Da is Gaga” belies the earthy wallop of the band and the urgent concentration of Acedo’s soloing.