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News from 2000

Update June 25 2000

New Additions to the Site:

Two covers of Something Different! (DIW25001,P-1); cover of My Name Is Albert Ayler (Fantasy/Debut 86016); two covers of Witches and Devils (Transatlantic 130, Arista/Freedom 1018); cover of Swing Low Sweet Spiritual (Osmosis 4001); pre-release, silkscreened, autographed cover of Spiritual Unity (ESP 1002) ; three covers of Ghosts (Fontana 688606, I Grande Del Jazz 12, Tobacco Road 2525); CD cover of The Hilversum Session (Coppens 6001), silkscreened version of Bells (ESP 1010); covers of At Slug’s Saloon Vol. 1 & 2 (Base 3031,3032); cover of Live In Europe 1964-1966 (Landscape 902); track listing and information for The Berlin Concerts - 1966 (Relyable 001); cover of Lorrach/Paris 1966 (hatMUSICS 3500); cover and information for the 45 rpm single taken from New Grass; cover of Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe (Impulse 9191); CD covers for Nuits de la Fondation Maeght; track listing and information for Albert Ayler Quintet 1970 (Blue Jazz BJ23CD); cover for Gato Barbieri & Don Cherry/Albert Ayler/John Handy Quintet (Europa Jazz 1006).
New page added to the Discography - The Unreleased Recordings.


A writer from Cleveland is currently working on a biography of Albert Ayler, featuring new interviews with Edward and Donald Ayler.

The Blue Jazz CD is the first sighting of material from Albert Ayler’s first concert at St. Paul de Vence in 1970, and I have also received confirmation that an audio fragment from the Danish TV performance with Cecil Taylor in 1962 also exists. This has prompted me to add a page to the Discography dealing with the unreleased recordings.


I’d like to thank the following for their help, advice, information and cover scans:

Paul Costuros, Bertrand Guggenheim, Francesco Martinelli, Jeff Schwartz and Heinrich Smejkal.

And a special thanks to George Scala for taking the time and trouble to send me 19 new cover scans.


Update July 9 2000

New Additions to the Site

The Unreleased Recordings page has now been fully updated with details of a number of tapes of Ayler performances.
What’s Available page updated for July.
Correction made to the New York Eye and Ear Control page of the discography. There is another CD with the same title on the Matador label, a compilation of New York rock bands. To quote the Matador website: “The name for this compilation was stolen from an old record featuring some jazz guys we've never heard, so shut up and leave us alone about it.” So, caveat emptor.
The details for the Relyable release, The Berlin Concerts - 1966
which I included in the last update have been challenged by a correspondent. He suggests that the second side of the LP is just a ` doctored` version of the material on the first side. If anybody could shed any more light on this problem I’d be very grateful.


Ayler Records

This is a new independent label based in Sweden, which intends to concentrate on releasing live recordings of free/improvised music - "live music with spirit".

Their debut CD is "Live At The Unity Temple" by the Noah Howard Quartet (Howard [as,ts],Bobby Few [p], Wilber Morris [b], Calyer Duncan  [d], recorded in Chicago, 9/9/97). In March of this year they recorded a session at the Glenn Miller Cafe in Stockholm, featuring Sunny Murray, Arthur Doyle and Bengt "Frippe" Nordström, which they plan to release soon. For those not familiar with the name, Nordström is the man who organised Albert Ayler's first recording session in October, 1962.

Ayler Records are also organising an Albert Ayler Memorial Festival to take place in Stockholm on November 25th of this year (the 30th anniversary of Albert's death). I will post more details of that event nearer the time.


I’d like to thank the following for their help and information:

Heinrich Smejkal, Francesco Martinelli, Jan Ström and Åke Bjurhamn.


Update August 1 2000

New Additions to the Site

New page added - Albert Ayler Remembered. Only one contribution so far but hopefully I can gather some more. I would like to hear from anyone who remembers seeing Ayler play. Obviously I’d also like to hear from any musicians who played with Ayler.
The problem with the Relyable LP,
The Berlin Concerts - 1966 has been resolved. Side 2 is a repeat of Side 1
Details of the tapes of the September 1964 broadcasts from the Cafe Montmartre, Copenhagen added to The Unreleased Recordings
Details of Peter Niklas Wilson’s book, “Spirits Rejoice: Albert Ayler and His Message”, added to the Links page.
Cover of The Drums added to the Compilations page of the discography.
What’s Available page updated for August.


I’d like to thank the following for their help and information:

Paul Costuros, Francesco Martinelli, Peter Niklas Wilson, Jack Lefton and Nils Winther (of Steeplechase Records).


Update September 1 2000

New Additions to the Site

Details and cover of the Trikont compilation CD, Dead And Gone #1: Funeral Marches added to the Compilations page.
What’s Available page updated for September.


The following was posted on the message board by William Smith and I thought I should also mention it here:

“I am planning a radio memorial around the 30th anniversary of Albert Ayler's death on KALX UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY RADIO 90.7FM (http://kalx.berkeley.edu). Ayler's "Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe" is the opening theme to my radio show every monday night at 7pm. (KALX can be heard nationally and internationally on streaming audio through the aforementioned website)”.

I’ll be sure to get some more details as we approach November.


I’d like to thank the following for their help and information:

Jim Fox, David Mittleman and Remco Takken.


Update October 1 2000

New Additions to the Site

Corrections made to Re-Evaluation: The Impulse Years on the Compilations page.
Cover of the Peter Niklas Wilson book added to the Links page.
What’s Available page updated for October.


Werner X. Uehlinger of HatArt Records has confirmed that Lorrach/Paris 1966 will be re-released in early 2001.

I was also hoping to announce that I had finally tracked down some film or video footage of Albert Ayler, but at the moment I’m still waiting for confirmation. As far as we know all the tapes of Ayler’s TV performances were subsequently wiped (this month I checked again with the BBC about the notorious LSE concert of 1966 and, as expected, nothing remains). However I came across an interview with Steve Tintweiss (the bassist on “Les Nuits de la Fondation Maeght”) where he said that the concert of 27/7/70 was filmed and a documentary movie subsequently shown around Europe. This was the first I’d ever heard of it. According to Marc Chaloin, the film does exist (at least it did 5 years ago, the last time he saw it) and it has been shown at various jazz festivals in France. The film contains excerpts from both concerts at the Fondation Maeght and an interview with Daniel Caux. If anyone else has any information about this documentary could you please let me know. As far as I know this is the only video document of Ayler in existence (if, of course, it still exists).


I’d like to thank the following for their help and information:

Werner X. Uehlinger, Des Birkenshaw, David Bohn, Stephane Cochet, Jan Strom and Marc Chaloin.


Update November 1 2000


A video of Albert Ayler does exist! I have received confirmation from the Maeght Foundation in France that they possess a video copy of the documentary film of Albert Ayler’s final concert in France on 27th. July 1970. The film was produced by Jean-Michel Meurice, is in colour, lasts for 48 and a half minutes, and combines excerpts from the concert with an interview with Albert Ayler. At the moment I’m waiting for further details from the Maeght Foundation and will post them here when I receive them.


November 2000 sees the 30th anniversary of Albert Ayler’s death. The memorial programme on KALX University of California at Berkeley Radio 90.7FM (http://kalx.berkeley.edu) (mentioned in the September update) will be broadcast on Monday, 13th November at 7 - 9 p.m. (California time).

New Additions to the Site

I’ve added another MP3 to the Music page - “In Heart Only”, the opening track of Volume 1 of Albert Ayler - Nuits de la Fondation Maeght. It seemed appropriate considering the news about the video of the concert.
What’s Available page redesigned and updated for November. What Was Available page added.


I’d like to thank the following for their help and information:

Claudie Hatté (archivist of the Maeght Foundation) and William Smith.


Update November 14 2000


Sad news from Stockholm: Jan Strom of Ayler Records has informed me of the death of Bengt ‘Frippe’ Nordström, the Swedish musician who was largely responsible for the 1962 recording sessions which produced Albert Ayler’s first LPs, The First Recordings. A memorial concert for `Frippe` will take place at The Golden Circle in Stockholm on November 28th.

Jan also let me know that the Albert Ayler Memorial Festival planned for the end of November has had to be postponed (it seems yet again the money wasn’t ‘stong enough’) but he’s hoping to have things sorted out by next Spring.


Update December 1 2000


On November 24th, The Guardian (a UK newspaper) contained a two page article about Albert Ayler. The article, by Richard Williams (the journalist who first discovered what happened to the tape of Ayler’s ‘Jazz Goes To College’ concert at the London School of Economics - Ayler’s only performance in England, filmed by the BBC and then deemed not worth broadcasting and subsequently wiped) is available online at the Guardian’s site.
I’d be interested in hearing if any other newspapers around the world marked the 30th anniversary of Ayler’s death in any way.

New Additions to the Site

What’s Available page updated for December.



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