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2004
July to December

BAN203

archives

News from 2004 - July to December

July 1 2004

News

Revenant Records - Albert Ayler Box Set

The First and the Last Recordings

The Revenant box set (due for release in October) is much more than a random compilation of unissued Ayler sessions, it is more an attempt to present a new version of Ayler's musical progression. By plugging some of the gaps in Ayler's recorded legacy with previously unheard recordings, it almost amounts to an alternate history of Albert Ayler. Sometimes the two worlds collide when familiar (but difficult to get hold of) material appears, such as the extra Cellar Cafe session from the Albert Smiles With Sunny CD, or the Berlin Jazz Festival tracks from the wonderful world of the Italian bootleg industry. And to maintain the historical aspect of the set Revenant have also included one of the Ayler- Cherry Quartet sessions, released in 2002 as The Copenhagen Tapes. But the overall effect is to put more flesh on the bare bones of Ayler's recorded output. In that sense it carries on the process which began almost immediately after Ayler's untimely death - more than half of the Ayler albums in the discography were released posthumously. However, rather than sporadically released single LPs and CDs, the advantage of the Revenant box set is that all this new material is put into context and presented chronologically. And so, quite fittingly, it begins with Ayler's first recording - with the Herbert Katz Quintet in Helsinki, Finland in June 1962, and ends with his last known recording, at the Village Vacances Famille in St. Paul de Vence in July 1970.

I'd always assumed that the Helsinki recording was somehow connected to the World Youth Festival that was held in Helsinki in 1962 and that Ayler was part of the American contingent of avant-garde jazzmen (including Bill Dixon, Jimmy Giuffre, Herbie Nichols, Perry Robinson and Archie Shepp) who performed at the festival. Apparently this was not the case and Ayler appears to have been living in Finland at the time, playing on a regular basis with the Herbert Katz Quintet. On the one hand this is a pity since there's a load of information about the C.I.A. involvement in the 1962 World Youth Festival on the internet which would be wonderful to weave into the Ayler myth - especially since the Finnish Jazz Archive is spookily lacking in information about Albert Ayler, or the World Youth Festival. On the other hand the image of Ayler touring Finland with this very straight modern jazz group does bring to mind that brilliant Swedish film from 1976, 'Sven Klang's Quintet'.

The Helsinki recording is from a radio broadcast so the sound quality is excellent. So far I've only heard one track but that's an incredible version of 'Summertime'. Ayler is still recognisably Ayler, but his playing is far more restrained than on The First Recordings or his other version of 'Summertime' on My Name Is Albert Ayler, and the other members of the band supply a completely straightforward reading of the tune. Remove Ayler from the track and it would be the blandest modern jazz but with Ayler in the mix it naturally becomes something else entirely. On The First Recordings and My Name Is Albert Ayler, Ayler was the leader, trying to find his own approach to the old jazz standards, working with musicians who weren't entirely in tune with his ideas. Before the massive leap into Witches and Devils these records were the only evidence the critics had to link Ayler to the jazz tradition. The Helsinki session adds another piece to the puzzle. This is Ayler, not as leader but as sideman, and not in a one-off recording session, but as part of a working group. It's fascinating to hear the tension in his playing, the obvious urge to slip the bonds dampened by a polite restraint. The full details of the session are as follows:

Herbert Katz Quintet: Katz (guitar) with Albert Ayler (tenor saxophone); Teuvo Suojärvi (piano); Heikki Annala (bass); Martti Äijänen (drums).
Recorded June 30, 1962 in Helsinki, Finland

1. Sonnymoon for Two (Sonny Rollins) 8:29
2. Summertime (George Gershwin–Ira Gershwin) 6:53
3. On Green Dolphin Street (Bronislau Kaper) 3:26

And from the first to the last: Ayler's impromptu performance after his two concerts at the Fondation Maeght. According to Steve Tintweiss: "It was an add-on performance at 'Villages Vacances Tourisme' which was a retreat of tourist villas outside of St Paul de Vence near Nice, where we were staying. Although the management did not want to open up the attendance to our fans who were not guests there, we insisted, so they were allowed in. It was all by word-of-mouth, but the news spread quickly. There was an informal set-up, an upright piano, no bass amplification at all, and only one ancient P.A. microphone which we didn't really use. The audience was seated on what may have been folding chairs." One member of that audience was Denis Benoliel, whose account of the concert can be found on the Ayler Remembered page.

I've not heard any of this material and given the circumstances I'm not expecting a professional recording.However, that anything has survived is quite astonishing. This is the last known recording of Albert Ayler, recorded in an informal setting, playing what he wants to play, free from all restraints. The full details of the session are as follows:

Albert Ayler Quartet: Ayler (tenor saxophone) with Call Cobbs (piano); Steve Tintweiss (bass); Allen Blairman (drums); prob. Mary Maria (tambourine, hand-clapping).
Recorded prob. July 28, 1970 at La Colle sur Loup: Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France

1. Mothers/Children 8:42
2. [untitled, incomplete] 14:14
3. [C minor] 5:21
4. [F minor/C minor] 10:36

***

Brooklyn Photos

Three 1969 photos of Albert Ayler - two from Prospect Park, one of Ayler at home (with a harp) - are on the Elliott Landy website.

***

Complete Slug’s - not

Following up the May item about the new single CD version of Live at Slug’s Saloon on the Lonehill Jazz label. This has now hit the shops and despite being called Complete Live at Slug’s Saloon it only contains the four tracks from the original 2-volume LP version. Maybe if they’d called it ‘Original’ rather than ‘Complete’ it wouldn’t be so annoying. The extra track, ‘Initiation’, is available on the Get Back double CD version, which you still might be able to get hold of, or if the money’s ‘strong enough’ there’s the ESP two volume version.

***

New Additions to the Site

A couple of new additions to the Tributes page which I thought I’d also mention here:

‘The Elizabethan Phrasing of the Late Albert Ayler’ is a ballet by Karole Armitage, first performed in 1986. Not that we can all jump in our time machines and go check it out, but I do like that title: ‘The Elizabethan Phrasing of the Late Albert Ayler’.

And there's a track on Laïka Fatien's CD, 'Look at me now!' called 'This Is For Albert Ayler' which adds lyrics to the Wayne Shorter tune, ‘This is for Albert’ (originally written as a memorial to Bud Powell). According to her website (which includes a snippet from the track): "In Wayne Shorter's This is for Albert, I imagined the circumstances of Albert Ayler's death. He drowned in the East River, New York; I tried to imagine how he got there."

What’s Available page updated for July.

***

Acknowledgements

Dean Blackwood, Juha Henriksson and Steve Tintweiss.

***

August 1 2004

News

Revenant Records - Albert Ayler Box Set

Holy Ghost - Final Track List

I did intend to leave this till next month since the set was not due to be released until October and I had actually finished updating this page before I did my regular survey of the internet stores for the What’s Available page and noticed that both Amazon.co.uk and HMV.co.uk have the Revenant box set listed as due for release on September 27th and available for pre-order - £71.99 at Amazon (p&p free) and £89.99 at HMV. Also, the HMV site includes a full track list, so it seemed a bit pointless waiting another month. So, here it is:

HOLY GHOST - Albert Ayler
Revenant Records RVN213CD
9 CD box set

(All compositions by Albert Ayler unless otherwise indicated.)

Disc 1:

Herbert Katz Quintet: Katz (guitar) with Albert Ayler (tenor saxophone); Teuvo Suojärvi (piano); Heikki Annala (bass); Martti Äijänen (drums).
Recorded June 30, 1962 in Helsinki, Finland

1. Sonnymoon for Two (Sonny Rollins) 8:29
2. Summertime (George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin) 6:53
3. On Green Dolphin Street (Bronislau Kaper) 3:26

Cecil Taylor Quartet: Taylor (piano) with Jimmy Lyons (alto saxophone); Albert Ayler (tenor saxophone); Sunny Murray (drums).
Recorded poss. November 16, 1962 in Copenhagen, Denmark

4. Spoken introductions by broadcast announcer and Borge Roger Henrichsen 0:42
5. Four (Cecil Taylor) 21:46

Albert Ayler Trio: Ayler (tenor saxophone) with Gary Peacock (bass); Sunny Murray (drums).
Recorded June 14, 1964 at the Cellar Café: New York City

6. Spirits 6:38
7. Saints 10:32
8. Ghosts 10:56

Disc 2:

Albert Ayler Trio: Ayler (tenor saxophone) with Gary Peacock (bass); Sunny Murray (drums).
Recorded June 14, 1964 at the Cellar Café: New York City

1. The Wizard 6:51
2. Children 9:05
3. Spirits 0:28

Albert Ayler Quartet: Ayler (tenor saxophone) with Don Cherry (cornet); Gary Peacock (bass); Sunny Murray (drums).
Recorded September 3, 1964 at Café Montmartre: Copenhagen, Denmark

4. Spoken radio introduction 0:55
5. Spirits 8:43
6. Vibrations 8:23
7. Untitled 8:59
8. Mothers 7:53
9. Children 8:38
10. Spirits 1:25

Burton Greene Quintet: Greene (piano) with Albert Ayler, Frank Smith (tenor saxophone); Steve Tintweiss (bass); Rashied Ali (drums).
Recorded February 1966 at Slugs’: New York City

11. Untitled (collective) 8:55

Disc 3:

Albert Ayler Quintet: Ayler (tenor saxophone) with Don Ayler (trumpet); Michel Samson (violin); Mutawef Shaheed [fka Clyde Shy] (bass); Ronald Shannon Jackson (drums).
Recorded April 16, 1966 at La Cave: Cleveland

First Set:
1. Spoken introduction by Peter Bergman 1:03
2. Spirits Rejoice 4:39
3. D.C. (Don Cherry) 5:58
4. Untitled 7:04
5. Our Prayer (Don Ayler) 6:33

Second Set:
6. Spoken introduction by Peter Bergman 1:13
7. Untitled 15:20
8. Ghosts 6:32

Albert Ayler Quintet: Ayler (tenor saxophone) with Don Ayler (trumpet); Michel Samson (violin); Mutawef Shaheed (bass); Ronald Shannon Jackson (drums).
Recorded April 17, 1966 at La Cave: Cleveland

First Set:
9. Spirits Rejoice 6:31
10. Prophet/Ghosts/Spiritual Bells 14:33
11. Our Prayer (Don Ayler) 9:43

Disc 4:

Albert Ayler Quintet: Ayler (tenor saxophone) with Don Ayler (trumpet); Frank Wright (tenor saxophone); Michel Samson (violin); Mutawef Shaheed (bass); Ronald Shannon Jackson (drums).
Recorded April 17, 1966 at La Cave: Cleveland

Second Set:
1. Untitled/Truth Is Marching In 15:43
2. Spirits 9:16
3. Zion Hill 12:40
4. Spirits 7:00
5. Spiritual Bells 3:48
6. Untitled 9:18

Disc 5:

Albert Ayler Quintet: Ayler (tenor saxophone) with Don Ayler (trumpet); Michel Samson (violin); Bill Folwell (bass); Beaver Harris (drums).
Recorded November 3, 1966 at Berlin Philharmonie: Berlin, Germany

1. Concert announcement by Ralf Schulte-Bahrenberg 1:10
2. Ghosts/Bells 11:15
3. Truth Is Marching In 7:07
4. Omega 3:48
5. Our Prayer (Don Ayler) 4:39

Albert Ayler Quintet: Ayler (tenor saxophone) with Don Ayler (trumpet); Michel Samson (violin); Bill Folwell (bass); Beaver Harris (drums).
Recorded November 8, 1966 at De Doelen: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

6. Spoken introduction by Peter de Wit 1:25
7. Truth Is Marching In 11:14
8. Bells 5:35
9. Spirits Rejoice 10:51
10. Free Spiritual Music, Part IV 6:44

Disc 6:

Albert Ayler Quintet: Ayler (tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone [track 3], alto saxophone [track 3], vocal [track 2]) with Don Ayler (trumpet); Michel Samson (violin); Bill Folwell (bass); Milford Graves (drums).
Recorded June 30/July 1, 1967 at Freebody Park: Newport, Rhode Island

1. Truth Is Marching In/Omega 9:00
2. Japan (traditional)/Universal Indians 5:41
3. Our Prayer (Don Ayler) 8:19

Albert Ayler Quartet: Ayler (tenor saxophone, vocal) with Don Ayler (trumpet); Richard Davis (bass); Milford Graves (drums).
Recorded at the funeral of John Coltrane, July 21, 1967 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church: New York City

4. Love Cry/Truth Is Marching In/Our Prayer (Don Ayler) 6:24

Pharoah Sanders Ensemble: Sanders (tenor saxophone) with Chris Capers (trumpet); unknown (alto saxophone); Albert Ayler and unknown (tenor saxophone); Dave Burrell (piano); Sirone (bass); Roger Blank (drums).
Recorded January 21, 1968 at the Renaissance Ballroom: New York City

5. Venus (Pharoah Sanders)/Upper and Lower Egypt (Pharoah Sanders) 22:59

Albert Ayler: Ayler (tenor saxophone, vocal, solo recitation [track 7]) with Call Cobbs (piano, Rocksichord); Bill Folwell (electric bass guitar); Bernard Purdie (drums); Mary Parks (vocal, prob. tambourine); Vivian Bostic (vocal).
Recorded ca. late August 1968 in New York City area

6. Untitled Blues 6:04
7. Untitled Sermon 0:50
8. Thank God for Women (Albert Ayler/Mary Parks) 10:16
9. New Ghosts [demo fragments] (Albert Ayler/Mary Parks) 7:10

Disc 7:

Don Ayler Sextet: Don Ayler (trumpet) with Albert Ayler (alto saxophone); Sam Rivers (tenor saxophone); Richard Johnson (piano); Richard Davis, Ibrahim Wahen (bass); Muhammad Ali (drums).
Recorded January 11, 1969 at Town Hall: New York City

1. Prophet John (Don Ayler) 10:53
2. Judge Ye Not (Don Ayler) 10:16

Albert Ayler Quartet: Ayler (tenor saxophone) with Call Cobbs (piano); Steve Tintweiss (bass); Allen Blairman (drums); prob. Mary Maria (tambourine, hand-clapping).
Recorded prob. July 28, 1970 at La Colle sur Loup: Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France

3. Mothers/Children 8:42
4. Untitled 14:14
5. Untitled 5:21
6. Untitled 10:36

Disc 8:

1. Ayler interview with Birger Jørgensen for Afterbeat program
Recorded early December 1964 in Copenhagen, Denmark 5:20

2. Ayler interview with Birger Jørgensen for Afterbeat program
Recorded November 11, 1966 in Copenhagen, Denmark 5:31

3. Ayler interview with Daniel Caux for France Couture
Recorded July 27, 1970 in St. Paul de Vence, France 38:54

Disc 9:

1. Ayler interview with Kiyoshi Koyama for Swing Journal
Recorded July 25, 1970 in St. Paul de Vence, France 57:32

2. Don and Mocqui Cherry interview with Daniel Caux
Recorded in Paris, 1971 14:38

_____

Neither Amazon nor HMV have a picture of the box yet but there are a few on designer Noel Waggener’s site. What follows is the original August update - sorry if some of the information gets repeated but it’s easier to leave it as it is.

_____

Two Brothers

Hopefully one effect of the release of the Revenant box set will be a re-evaluation of the importance of Don Ayler's contribution to his brother's music. There does seem to be this unshakeable myth surrounding Don Ayler that he was just along for the ride, that without his brother he would never have had a career in music. This was the opinion of the executives at Impulse who persuaded Albert to drop his brother from the band after the Love Cry session - a decision which has been blamed for causing the breakdown in Don's health which arguably led to Albert's death and consequentially the problems which continue to dog Don's life. Don's apparent retirement from the music world after Albert's death is cited by critics as evidence of his lack of musical ability and of the two recordings he did make as leader, the one for the Jihad label was never released and the Italian triple LP set, Don Ayler in Florence 1981, is so difficult to get hold of now that one just has to accept the general view that it's not that good. So, any assessment of Don Ayler depends on the handful of records he made with his brother.

Albert brought him into the group after the 1964 European tour, ostensibly as a replacement for Don Cherry - a daunting prospect for any trumpet player, and Don Ayler was not a trumpet player - and so the myth begins. But Don shifted the music in another direction, into that New Orleans brass band style. From Bells to Live in Greenwich Village the music is Don's as much as Albert's.

"Albert Ayler: When my brother started playing with me, that's when I really started stretching out--really where it was at--because he was like, very far ahead, because on the alto, he could out-play me on the alto, man. He sat in with Elvin Jones down at Slug's, man, and Elvin Jones' Japanese girlfriend started runnin' around the club, clappin', 'cause she knew Don was gonna start playin'. See, he could play the whole chord, like that, takin' it up, (imitates sax). He could take it on up, like that. Him and Elvin Jones together, man. That was a heck of a night, you   know."
                                                                                                     (from Chapter 3 of Jeff Schwartz’ biography of Albert Ayler.)

What the Revenant set gives us is a lot more from that period: the Cleveland La Cave sessions (with Michel Samson's debut providing another example of Albert's odd recruitment methods), the Berlin Jazz Festival and Rotterdam concerts from the 1966 European tour, the Newport Festival appearance and the brothers' performance at John Coltrane's funeral. It also gives us a previously unknown recording, the last recording of the Ayler brothers playing together and as far as is known the final American recording of Albert Ayler. It's also significant since this is Don's gig and his brother is sitting in on alto. The details are as follows:

Don Ayler Sextet: Don Ayler (trumpet) with Albert Ayler (alto saxophone); Sam Rivers (tenor saxophone); Richard Johnson (piano); Richard Davis, Ibrahim Wahen (bass); Muhammad Ali (drums).
Recorded January 11, 1969 at Town Hall: New York City

1.Prophet John (Don Ayler)10:53
2.Judge Ye Not (Don Ayler)10:16

Maybe Don's critics should take heed of the title of that second track. Or maybe take the following advice which I came across in a Nat Hentoff article about John Coltrane:

'Having grown up on Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Buddy Tate and Don Byas, it took me some time to be drawn into John Coltrane's universe. In Down Beat, at first, I wrote of his unappealing sound on records, and in clubs I tended to lose my way in his long dense solos. But Don Ayler, Albert's trumpet-playing brother, gave me some useful advice. He was talking about how to get inside what his brother was doing; but it also opened me up to other path breakers. "Don't always focus on the notes," Don Ayler said, "on what sequence they'd be in if you were to write them down. Instead try to move your imagination toward the sound. Follow the sound; the pitches, the colors. You have to almost watch them move. You have to try to listen to everything together."'

(from John Coltrane: The Spoken Essence by Nat Hentoff)

_____

 

The Book

Richard Koloda's forthcoming biography of Albert Ayler, written in collaboration with Don, should go some way to burying the myths. I had thought that this would be the first substantial book about Ayler to be published in America - Peter Niklas Wilson's “Spirits Rejoice: Albert Ayler und seine Botschaft” never made it out of Germany, the Jeff Schwartz biography never made it into print (although without the online edition I'd never have been able to construct this site) - but it looks like that distinction will go to Revenant Records. At this point you're probably thinking I'm going a bit over the top in my praise of Revenant - the CDs, o.k., but why make a fuss about the sleevenotes. Simply because the box set will contain the first full-length book ever published in the English language about Albert Ayler. Dean Blackwood sent me the following description of the book:

"Contributors to the book are: Amiri Baraka (wholly new essay recounting his personal relationship with Ayler and placing him amid the 60s scene), Val Wilmer (an adapted and updated version of the biographical essay from As Serious As Your Life), Daniel Caux (essay on his involvement with Ayler via his work for the Foundation Maeght), Marc Chaloin (key essay in the set, from my perspective, covering the "missing years" when Ayler was in the Army and in Europe 1958-62, formulating his "new message"; this essay is based on entirely new, independent research and interviews with many of the musicians encountering Ayler in Europe during this period), Ben Young (project supervisor for the set, also compiled and/or wrote a number of key parts of the book, including the Witnesses section (first person accounts of other artists' initial encounters with Ayler and his music, based on interviews (most newly conducted for this set) with folks like Edward Ayler, Cecil Taylor, Illinois Jacquet, Harold Budd, Milford Graves, Rashied Ali, Don Cherry, Gary Peacock, Michel Samson and lots more), the Sidemen bios section, the track by track analysis, a section called Whence, which details Aylerian roots and influences, and the lion's share of the appendix called Sightings which is an exhaustive account of Ayler performance/recording activities, including personnel, settings and exquisite detail. Those are the major textual components. The book is 208 pages, hardbound w/cloth cover, full color, includes tons of unpublished photos and family memorabilia, as well as a series of original color silkscreens commissioned especially for the set which act as chapter headers for each of the sections."

So it's not just sleevenotes then.

***

Another Book

Although there aren’t many books written about Albert Ayler, he does seem to have inspired a fair number of poets, including the French painter, writer and art critic, Andrè Verdet. George Scala first sent me the bare details of Mèlopèe for Albert Ayler the Magnificent (including a translation of Mèlopèe as ‘monotonous chant’, although my dictionary also offers ‘recitative chant’ and ‘recitative’, so I should think Recitative for Albert Ayler the Magnificent is the preferable English version) and Dr. Dorothea Keeser was kind enough to add a little background information:

"Mélopée for Albert Ayler the Magnificent"

Text by André Verdet
Illustrations by Jean Miotte
edited By Dorothea Keeser, Edition und Verlag Hamburg, 1996 (ISBN 3-928090-04-6)
44 pages, 32 color reproductions, $30.

“The book was first published in 1996. The idea came from André Verdet who had known Albert Ayler well (Ayler had visited him in St. Paul de Vence).

André Verdet created a poem around Ayler which is half in English and half in French and is printed in the book. It is illustrated by paintings of the artist Jean Miotte. The designer who made the lay-out was inspired by a jazz concert with crescendo and decrescendo, reproducing the painting smaller, bigger etc. During that year it won a prize for the best designed book in Germany.

It was published for the opening of the new studio of Jean Miotte in the South of France, where André Verdet gave a concert with his group 'Betelgeuse' for the opening, reciting his song/poem about Ayler as one of the main pieces.”

Although the book is difficult to get hold of through the normal channels, Dr. Keeser does have several copies which can be purchased directly from her at doro@chelseaartmuseum.org.

For further information about the artist Jean Miotte visit the website of the Chelsea Art Museum.

***

The Hilversum Session

Despite being one of Ayler's best albums The Hilversum Session has always been difficult to get hold of due to limited distribution (at the moment it only seems to be available from Cadence). However George Coppens has written to say that copies can be obtained direct from the source - just email him at coppens25@hetnet.nl.

***

Cherchez la femme

Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg has sent me a couple of Ayler articles from the French Jazz Magazine which I will be adding to the Archives section when time permits. However, one of the articles contains the following photo which I couldn’t resist adding to the site immediately. The caption just reads “Ayler en Europe (19?)” and I’d be grateful if anyone could fill in the details.

chanson02

New Additions to the Site

What’s Available page updated for August.

***

Acknowledgements

Dean Blackwood, George Coppens, Dr. Dorothea Keeser, Richard Koloda, Phil Newberry, George Scala and Jean- Michel Van Schouwburg.

***

September 2 2004

News

Revenant Records - Albert Ayler Box Set

Just a month to go before the Revenant box set is released. So far I’ve found it listed on the following internet stores:

Amazon (UK) - £71.99
Amazon (US) - $105.98
CD Universe (US) - $77.17
HMV (UK) - £89.99
Tower Records (UK) - £82.12

CD Universe gives the list price as $109.98 and presumably the HMV price is the English equivalent. The English sites give 27th September as the release date but the US sites stick to the original October 5th date.

Given the title of the box set and the current state of the jazz world, particularly in Britain where Jamie Cullum and Katie Melua are the heppest cats around, I feel I should drop a Biblical quotation in here but I’ve resisted the urge. The Holy Ghost arrives next month and hopefully he’s all out of bubble gum. Below is the Revenant publicity blurb for the set.

blurb2

The Taragato

Maarten Derksen let me know about this Hungarian CD, Lament, by the ‘Avantgarde Duo’ - Antal Babits (clarinet, bass clarinet,tárogató), Attila Lorinszky (bass) - recorded live in 2000 which includes the track, ‘Chorale Improvisation for Albert Ayler’. I’ve added it to the Tributes page but I thought I’d mention it here as well. The piece is played on the tárogató (that’s the shawm-like kuruc tárogató and not the clarinet-like modern tárogató - more on the tárogató here) and bass and further details can be found at the Fono Records website.

HUNGARY02

This is from the sleevenotes:

“Chorale Improvisation for Albert Ayler

With this composition the Duo honours one of the great figures of free jazz, the misunderstood and unfortunately short-lived saxophonist Albert Ayler (1936-1970), who also improvised on chorale melodies. The founding pillar of Protestant music, the chorale, achieved fruition in J.S. Bach’s works, and may be counted among the most beautiful creations of European art-music (in the current case the improvisation is founded on the chorale ‘Alles ist an Gottes Segen’). It is interesting to note that, almost from the work’s beginning, the theme upon which the variations are based is transformed into a Late Renaissance or Early Baroque dance-style melody, which, historically speaking, may also have served as a precedent for chorale melodies. In contrast to the minor mode of the previous piece, here the major mode dominates. The shawm - which is not a relative of the clarinet, but rather approximates more closely the penetrating tone of the Baroque oboe da caccia - expands one or two sections from the ‘net’ of tones comprised by the theme.”

***

The Hilversum Session - again

Following last month’s mention of The Hilversum Session George Coppens has sent me a couple of items for the site. One is the replacement cover for the CD - which I’ve placed in a reduced version on the relevant page in the discography but I thought it was worth reproducing full-size below. The other is a review of the LP from the Melody Maker by Brian Case which you can find here, just above a Richard Cook review which I’d always assumed was from the Melody Maker but obviously not. (Blame my poor archiving skills for that one - I just ripped the review out of the magazine when it first appeared, came across it by accident when I was searching the loft for old Jazz Monthlies, and decided it must have been from the Melody Maker. Now I’m assuming it’s from the New Musical Express.)

George also included this interesting piece of information in his email:

“Some twenty-five years ago I was briefly in touch with Norman Howard, the trumpeter on Ayler’s Witches & Devils. He told me this piece was penned by him, not by Ayler. Listen to it and you will hear how simple it is, almost silly for a “composition”, and quite unlike Ayler’s own pieces.”

coppens

New Additions to the Site

Three articles in the Archives section - one from the Netherlands, Albert Ayler: New Grass by Rudy Koopmans, and two from the French Jazz Magazine, L’Enfer d’Ayler (which contains that photo of the mystery chanteuse mentioned last month), and Un Soir Autour d’Ayler. The latter is a discussion about Ayler published in 1971 and among the contributors is the late, monumentally great, Steve Lacy.

What’s Available page updated for September.

***

Acknowledgements

Dean Blackwood, George Coppens, Maarten Derksen, Richard Koloda, and Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg.

***

October 1 2004

holy1

News

Revenant Records - Albert Ayler Box Set

Well, it’s here at last, the Revenant box set in all its glory. No point filling the page with superlatives (I’ve already had to shift the January to June section to the archives to make some space), the box is in the shops and the first reviews are out.

HGBOX2

...the box is in the shops...

Whether it will make it into my local branch of HMV ‘up Hanley’ is a moot point, but it’s gratifying that the distribution of an 80 quid box of obscure recordings by a cult figure like Ayler is not limited to the specialist jazz dealers. All the internet stores I regularly monitor for this site have the box set in stock and it’s worth shopping around for the best bargain. At the moment the prices are as follows:

Amazon (UK) - £71.99
Amazon (US) - $95.49
CD Universe (US) - $74.19
HMV (UK) - £89.99
Tower Records (UK) - £82.12 (That’s the U.K. version, but if you scroll down the Albert Ayler search page to the U.S. imports section you can pre-order it for £55.58. With postage that makes it £61.66, which is the cheapest I’ve found it so far. Whether this is a glitch in the system or a genuine offer I don’t know - it seems to make no sense at all - but I thought I should mention it for the more adventurous (and poverty-stricken) among you.)

...and the first reviews are out.

The Guardian newspaper here in England included a full-page review of Holy Ghost in last Saturday’s Arts section. Written by Richard Williams, the Guardian’s resident Ayler fan, it was nothing short of rapturous and is available on the paper’s website.

For a more local (not to say provincial) view of the set, there are two reviews from Cleveland, Ayler’s home town. Both seem to be trying to stir up trouble for Revenant by referring to grumblings within the Ayler family over who gets the money, and although the Plain Dealer review does include some nice remarks from Albert’s 90 year old father, Edward, the Cleveland Scene article seems to be more interested in gossip, revealing the full details of Don Ayler’s current troubles.

... and on the subject of Don...

My first attempts at this month’s update resembled the little boy in the toyshop at Christmas, all oohs and aahs and look at thats, but I decided, wisely, that any comments I make about the set will be a bit redundant. Suffice to say it exceeded my expectations. My main worry, considering the source of a lot of the music and having heard bootleg versions of some of the tracks, was that the sound quality of the CDs would affect the critical reception of the set. I needn’t have worried. The sound quality is excellent, except for one instance and I wasn’t going to mention that. Even Ayler’s final impromptu session recorded at the Villages Vacances Tourisme on Steve Tintweiss’ boombox are clear as a bell. In some ways the sound quality of some of the sessions leads to my one regret about the box set. The Cleveland La Cave sessions in particular would make for a terrific double CD which could stand comparison with any of Ayler’s classic albums, so it’s a pity that only the committed Ayler fans (since, given the cost of the set, that’s its obvious market) are going to hear them. At this point I should also mention my other criticism of the set - my dead flower is dropping its seeds in the box, admittedly easily rectified with some sellotape, but I thought I should bring the cold light of objectivity to bear. And, in best BBC-impartial, balanced fashion, the book is fantastic - particularly the final 16 page appendix which lists (possibly) every session that Ayler ever played, starting with:

ca. 1945 [a symphony hall] Cleveland
AA (as), William Appling (p).
Ayler appeared (and won first prize) at a local talent show...”

But then there is that one ‘bootleg-quality’ session that I wasn’t going to mention. Until I read the Richard Williams review in the Guardian and he described the same sensation I had when I first played it. I wasn’t going to mention it because it’s the band which Don Ayler led at the Town Hall in New York on January 11th, 1969, and I thought it was my affection for Don and my generally weird taste in music that made the thing leap out at me. Out of all the tracks on all the CDs in all the box, these two are the ones which make you feel you’re back in the Sixties, your hair’s longer, the cigarettes taste sweeter, and you’re listening to the music of Ayler (both of them) for the very first time. As Richard Williams describes it (more eloquently than me, but then he’s getting paid):

“Next to the historic piece by the Taylor quartet, however, the music that resonates most powerfully comes from a 1969 concert at New York’s Town Hall by a septet under Don Ayler’s leadership, with Albert among the supporting cast. In the murk of a recording that barely achieves the standard of a bootleg, identifying individual musicians is virtually impossible. What emerges, however, is an enthralling continuum of blaring, squealing, battering noise, exploding with the anger and frustration of a world in uproar.”

HOLY202

So, many congratulations to Dean Blackwood, Ben Young and the rest of the Revenant team. You done the man proud.

***

They are akin to buses

No, I shouldn’t use that old line, but hot on the heels of the Revenant set comes another NEW AYLER RECORD! Or, to be precise, a legitimate reissue of an incredibly rare Italian bootleg. As speculated on a few months back, ESP are releasing a CD of the first Fondation Maeght concert - the quartet recording issued as Albert Ayler Quintet 1970 - Live on Blu Jazz (Italy) BJ023CD. According to the ESP site the new CD (available in both traditional stereo CD and 5.1 surround sound DVD-Audio formats) will be released at the end of November under the title Maeght Foundation (ESP 4001/ESP DVD-A 101). If you’re a fan of the original Shandar album, Nuits de la Fondation Maeght, then this is great news since this recording of the July 25th set is comparable in sound quality and music. It also contains Ayler’s final recording of his signature tune, ‘Ghosts’.

***

Magnet Magazine

There’s an article about Albert Ayler in the current issue of Magnet Magazine (#65, Oct/Nov). It’s not available to read online but the current issue can be purchased direct from the site.

***

La Femme est cherchezed

Excuse my French but in the August update I included a picture from a French magazine with the caption, “Ayler en Europe (19?)” and wondered about the identity of the group. I should have just waited for the Revenant set to arrive. The book reveals all. It’s Jean-Luc Vallet’s band (1960, France) and the mystery chanteuse is Annie Jacquemet.

***

New Additions to the Site

HOLY GHOST: rare & unissued recordings (1962 - 70) 9 CD Spirit Box has been added to the discography. And as a result, the Unreleased page looks like a bomb’s hit it.

What’s Available page updated for October.

***

Acknowledgements

David Badagnani, Dean Blackwood, Ashlea Halpern, Richard Koloda and Richard Leigh

***

October 4 2004

And things were going so well...

Sorry about the bandwidth problem. I had no warning from my ISP and no explanation either. In case the home page is still accessible I’ve added a message saying I’ve mirrored the site at the following address (sorry about the adverts): http://ayler0.tripod.com.

***

October 10 2004

While the Revenant set is generating so much publicity for Albert Ayler I thought I’d update the News page on a weekly basis for a while.

Revenant website

The Revenant website now has full details of the Holy Ghost box set, including mp3s, photos and the unabridged version of Marc Chaloin’s "Albert Ayler in Europe: 1959-62”.

Reviews of Holy Ghost

Online

The Austin Chronicle.

The Scottish Sunday Herald.

Dusted Magazine.

Print

Down Beat has a three page article, ‘Flowers For Albert’ by John Corbett, in its current issue (October 2004, Volume 71, No. 10). An extract is available online.

The British Jazzwise magazine has an Ayler article, ‘The Healing Force’, in its current issue ( October 2004, #80). An extract is available online.

More news from Magnet

The 9 page Ayler article in the current issue of Magnet magazine, ‘Spirits, Ghosts, Witches & Devils’ by Mitch Myers, includes the following paragraph:

“ESP has plans for its own Ayler boxed set, which should be out by the end of the year. Though many details are still unconfirmed, the release will compile Ayler’s ESP catalog and material from his first two tours of Europe. As if to underscore the resurgence of the man’s music, a documentary called Spirits Rejoice: The Life And Legacy Of Albert Ayler will be released in 2005. The film not only researches Ayler’s life but also profiles other members of the free-jazz scene, then and now.”

There are currently two Ayler films in production, one in the States and one in Sweden - I have a feeling this is the American one. As for the ESP box, I guess we have to keep watching the skies.

Ayler Down Under

Googling around for Holy Ghost reviews I came across this item about an Albert Ayler tribute band in the Sydney Morning Herald.

***

October 17 2004

News

More Reviews of Holy Ghost

The New Yorker - All About Ayler by Sasha Frere-Jones

The Village Voice - The Fire That Time by Francis Davis

Denver Post - New Light on mystery man by Bret Saunders

The Scotsman - Spiritual renaissance by Brian Morton

Het Parool - Muziek uit een kistje by Maartje den Breejen

Culturevulture.net - Holy Ghost by Phil Freeman

*

Patience is a virtue

Thanks to Tim Witham for pointing out a bonus bit on the end of the final track on Disc 8 in the Holy Ghost set. After the Daniel Caux interview is finished there’s a long gap and then a recording of a phone conversation from 1964 between Paul Karting and Albert Ayler, setting up Ayler’s appearances in Holland, including the radio broadcast which ended up as The Hilversum Session. And on the end of Disc 9, following the Don Cherry interview, there’s the infamous Airport Tape, recorded by Steve Tintweiss at (possibly) Brussels Airport on the way home from the Fondation Maeght concerts, where the Ayler group try to jump the queue by dropping Ed Sullivan’s name into the conversation with an unfortunate airline official.

*

Ayler in the Top Nine

Searching around for reviews of Holy Ghost, I came across the following on the site of the U.K. newspaper, The Times. Since they don’t keep their articles online for long (at least for free) I thought I’d better reproduce it here in full:

“Times Online: October 16, 2004

Definitive CDs

LOUIS ARMSTRONG

The Complete Hot Fives & Hot Sevens Recordings (Sony Jazz)

The first great jazz soloist was at the peak of his powers from the mid-1920s. Armstrong blazes through all numbers, serving notice that an inexhaustible imagination has arrived. The music would never be the same again. His approach to rhythm and sense of structure were unprecedented, and the emotional impact still communicates. This box set contains four discs and features sidemen such as the clarinettist Johnny Dodds and the pianist Earl Hines.

 

DUKE ELLINGTON

Never No Lament (BMG RCA Bluebird Series)

Duke’s 50-year career at the helm of his orchestra produced an unrivalled repertoire of compositions - songs, suites, tone poems. He conquered the great concert halls without forfeiting the swagger of jazz. He hired idiosyncratic musicians and wrote for them - Johnny Hodges, Ben Webster. Urbane, not distracted by life on the road, Duke wrote everywhere. This three-disc set captures the band at its peak between 1940 and 1942.

 

BILLIE HOLIDAY & LESTER YOUNG

A Musical Romance (Columbia Legacy)

Early Billie Holiday is an unalloyed joy. She never had a better accompanist than the tenorman Lester Young, who nicknamed her Lady Day. Their empathy on Me, Myself and I and Sailboat in the Moonlight magically intertwines. The final track comes as a shock. Drugs in her case and booze in his had extinguished all sparkle. Her story is well known - prostitution, heroin, prison. Shy, elliptical Lester ran into trouble in the Army, emerging a saddened man.

 

CHARLIE PARKER AND DIZZY GILLESPIE: THE QUINTET

Jazz at Massey Hall (Original Jazz Classics)

Bird, Diz, Bud Powell, Charlie Mingus and Max Roach together in Toronto and outblowing each other. This is bebop at its thrilling best, despite amateur recording by the bassist. Salt Peanuts is awesome. There’s a fine book about the gig: Quintet of the Year by Geoffrey Haydon (Aurum) that details the clashes of temperament between the revolutionaries. Bird is listed as Charlie Chan for contractual reasons, and the concert was so badly attended that nobody was paid.

 

THELONIOUS MONK

In Action (Riverside)

A barnstorming quartet with the supercharged tenorman Johnny Griffin swarming all over Monk’s compositions. It’s difficult to remember the time when Monk’s music was seen as impenetrable, though the great, unclassifiable pianist is wonderfully athwart audience expectations here at New York’s Five Spot. Viewed as an eccentric - those hats, those shades, those pauses - he invented his own dissonant logic.

 

SONNY ROLLINS

Saxophone Colossus (Original Jazz Classics)

The great tenorman’s masterpiece: with this album Rollins gave notice of entering the front rank. Truculent tone, macabre humour, a ferocious dedication to thematic material - in the late 1950s he was invincible. Later, there were periods of retirement and stretches when inspiration wouldn’t flow, but he remains, on his night, the great freewheeling improviser.

 

MILES DAVIS

Kind of Blue (Columbia)

Miles went through so many phases that it seems invidious to choose just one record. This session features arguably the first modal jazz, which was universally copied. The pianist Bill Evans is a key figure on the date, as the arranger Gil Evans was on the gorgeous Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain. Before Miles embarked upon a quest for wider youth audiences, he cut his loosest and wildest album, Live at the Plugged Nickel (Columbia), a revelation.

 

ORNETTE COLEMAN

Change of the Century (Atlantic)

The alto saxophonist Coleman shook up the jazz establishment with a brand of free jazz. Was he a genius or a fraud who couldn’t play chord changes? He did write beautiful melodies, and surrounded himself with sidemen who shared his vision. Una Muy Bonita here is unforgettable, and there’s such bounce from the rhythm section that it’s hard now to see the problem. The Texan received a measure of acceptance, but later pushed on into perverse pastures.

 

ALBERT AYLER

Spiritual Unity (ESP)

A trio, playing what sounds like folk songs, and still, 40 years on, the most haunting and disquieting music jazz has produced. There isn’t much from the Western tempered scale here, and Ayler’s bellowing soundscape comprises brimstone, gargoyles and griffins. The tenor saxophone has never been employed to such extremes, nor have the drums, under Sunny Murray, broken so free of traditional  obligations. Ayler was a shortlived mystic, his drowned body recovered from New York’s East River. He was 34.”

***

Acknowledgements

Kees Hazevoet, Richard Koloda, Bill Schmidt and Tim Witham

***

October 24 2004

Two More Reviews of Holy Ghost

The New York Times - Made Him Wanna Holler by Ben Ratliff

And a short one from the U.K. Times, which I’ve reproduced below:

Times Online - October 24, 2004

Pop CD of the Week:

ALBERT AYLER
Holy Ghost
Revenant RVN213

Alan Yentob’s recent BBC1 profile of John Coltrane followed the “visionary artist” template. Apparently, Coltrane delighted everyone for years playing My Favourite Things, went insane, started doing unpopular weird stuff and died. It’s convenient to think of a genius as mad. It relieves broadcasters of the responsibility of accommodating their innovations. The tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler, whom Coltrane cited as an inspiration, also follows the one-size-fits-all mad-genius mode. He drowned in the East River in 1970, aged 34, and a 1966 BBC film of a London show was destroyed due to fears that his unfettered performance was too disturbing to broadcast. Ayler’s free-form style mixed bursts of pure chaos with the nursery-rhyme melodies of spirituals. His supporters see him as the creator of a new musical language. His detractors ask: “But could he play?” With nine CDs, a 200-page biography, facsimiles of fanzines and a pressed flower, Holy Ghost is the Sistine Chapel of box sets. It opens with Ayler in more conventionally melodic roles, backing better-known names, before settling into more than 10 hours of unreleased live performances and interviews, including a track recorded at Coltrane’s funeral. Live fast. Die young. Leave a beautiful box set. Five stars.

STEWART LEE”

***

November 1 2004

News

More Reviews of Holy Ghost

Palm Beach Post - The Legend: Albert Ayler by Joe Gross
(This is on the Cox News Service and has appeared elsewhere. It’s a news article rather than a review of Holy Ghost but includes a lot of interesting information about the Revenant team and how the box set came to be.)

The Boston Globe - Box sets: five from the vaults by Bill Beuttler

24 Heures (France) - Prophète du jazz, Albert Ayler ressuscite enfin by Luca Sabbatini

LA Weekly - The Sound of Truth by Greg Burk

And the November issue of Mojo magazine has a two page review of Holy Ghost. Although the review’s not available online, they have included some short samples from the box on their website.

*

Organissimo

Thanks to Gary Gray for pointing out this section on the Organissimo Jazz Forums site, which contains some nice reminiscences about Albert Ayler.

*

At the Maeght Foundation

According to the UK Amazon site, the new Ayler release from ESP is called ‘At The Maeght Foundation’ and is due to be released on December 20th. The pre-order price is £11.99.

***

New Additions to the Site

Thanks to Olivier Gambier for the scans of the first release of Spirits (Debut Deb-146) - probably better known as Witches & Devils. Seemed a shame to crunch them down from their full glory, so they’ve got their own page.

I’ve also added a review page for Holy Ghost, listing the online reviews gathered so far.

What’s Available page updated for November.

***

Acknowledgements

Olivier Gambier, Gary Gray and Bill Schmidt.

***

November 7 2004

More Reviews of Holy Ghost

Thanks to Steve Tintweiss for telling me about these:

The Chicago Tribune - Spirit of Ayler's music lives on in `Holy Ghost' by Bill Meyer

All About Jazz - Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost by Andrey Henkin
(which is also included in the November issue of All About Jazz: New York which can be downloaded as a .pdf file).

*

The Airport Tape

Steve Tintweiss also sent me this additional information about the ‘Airport Tape’, which is included as a bonus track at the end of Disc 9 of Holy Ghost:

“By the way, let me clarify that the "Airport Tape" excerpt was recorded at the Luxembourg International Airport on August 4, 1970, not Brussels (checked it on my old passport and Icelandic Airline ticket). The unidentified voice referred to in the Ayler tree and elsewhere was me, cassette tape recorder/radio in hand, asking the airport official to confirm the stand-by wait of ten minutes, and sort of posing as a reporter covering the band.”

***

December 1 2004

More Reviews of Holy Ghost

Print

The Wire has a review of Holy Ghost and a Val Wilmer interview with Roswell Rudd about Albert Ayler in its November issue, No. 249. (I should also mention that the current edition, December No. 250, has a free CD which includes ‘Flowers for Albert’ by the Henry Grimes Trio).

Online

Creem Magazine - Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost by Brian J. Bowe

One Final Note: Jazz & Improvised Music Webzine - Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost by Scott Hreha & Matthew Sumera

Billboard.com - Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost by Ron Hart

Seattle Weekly - The Ayler Set: Revenant's monument to a minor musician by Douglas Wolk

Metro Times Detroit - Silent Scream by Eric Waggoner

Svenska Dagbladet - Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost by Magnus Olsson

Newsday.com - Blowing sax - and minds by Gene Seymour

LACityBEAT & ValleyBEAT - Music From A ‘Holy Ghost’ by Chris Morris

Jazz Break - Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost by Luc Bouquet

Jamaica Observer - ALBERT AYLER: Passion, Spirit and Mystery by Michael A. Edwards

Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Zwischen Vision und Wirrnis by Christian Broecking

Le Nouvel Observateur - Albert Ayler, le revenant by Bernard Loupias

Expresso - O grito by Rui Tentúgal

Philadelphia City Paper - Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost by Nate Chinen

All Music Guide - ~Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost by Thom Jurek

Paris Transatlantic Magazine - Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost by Dan Warburton

Most of the above are the rave reviews we’ve come to expect (although I don’t speak German, Swedish or Portuguese and my French has the ancient whiff of plumes de ma tante, so I’m guessing a bit there) but there are a couple here which take a more critical approach to Revenant’s mighty box. Dan Warburton’s piece in the Paris Transatlantic Magazine is interesting and he admits to having mixed feelings about Holy Ghost. But he does clear up one of the contentious issues which keeps cropping up in discussions of the set; the inclusion of the Don Cherry quartet session. I hope Mr. Warburton doesn’t mind, but I thought I should quote that paragraph in full:

“Two years ago I was contacted by Ayler Records' Jan Ström to write liners for The Copenhagen Tapes, recordings of the Ayler / Peacock / Murray / Don Cherry quartet made in Copenhagen's Montmartre club on September 3rd 1964 and a week later for Danish radio. It's certainly surprising to see the same music appearing on a different label so soon after that album's critical success, but there seems to be no foul play or piracy involved. The duplication is explained by the fact that Ayler and Revenant each apparently received permission from different parties representing the Ayler Estate. Revenant have apparently negotiated with Curtis D. Roundtree, son of Carrie Roundtree Lucas, who dated Ayler in 1957 and had a son by him in 1958, while Ström signed a four-year lease deal with Desiree Ayler, daughter of Ayler's wife Arlene (the two married in 1964). Once more, it would be nothing short of catastrophic if this messy business ended up in a sordid protracted court case, as the bone of contention - the music itself - is such an extraordinary affirmation of the most noble and uplifting aspects of human creativity. Those who can't afford to spring for the Spirit Box can at least enjoy the music on The Copenhagen Tapes, though hi-fi buffs might moan at Per Ruthström's rather heavy-handed beefing up of Peacock's bass on the Ayler version (personally I don't mind: it's a minor quibble compared to the blatant sonic revisionism of ECM's Jimmy Giuffre reissues).”

Douglas Wolk’s review in the Seattle Weekly is a different matter. It begins with the statement: “Albert Ayler was - wince if you say it - a minor musician.” And also includes the following: “a couple of 1969 pieces by the Don Ayler Sextet (featuring Albert but led by his brother, who's basically Andrew Ridgeley to his George Michael).” So the vilification of Don continues (even Dan Warburton can’t resist letting his readers know the full details of Don Ayler’s current whereabouts). I guess it’s inevitable that faced with the fabulous packaging of the Revenant set, some reviewers are going to become suspicious and cry that the Emperor has no clothes. For such a snappy dresser as Albert, I think that’s a mistake.

*

Milford Graves

In case you’re wondering what Milford Graves has been up to lately, there’s an interesting article about him on the New York Times site (although you’ll probably have to register with the site - it’s free - before they’ll let you look at it).

*

Monastery Bulletin

As the Legendary Lonnie once said on Radio Stoke after playing some Gregorian chant, “I love them monks”. And I must concur. This site has nothing to do with the cowled ones and there’s no specific Ayler stuff on there, but Cecil Taylor and Alan Silva make an appearance and it’s a very neat site with lots of information about free jazz and the improvising scene.

*

Ayler Tribute CD from Italy

pumathEman (bass player with the Italian punk-funk band ‘BobBy buRNs’) let me know about his solo Ayler tribute CD ‘in-trust/Albert Rejoice’. I’ve added it to the Tributes page but I thought I’d also give it a plug here since it’s a bit out of the ordinary - bass improvisations with electronic percussion. This is the information:

pumathEman - 'in-trust/Albert Rejoice'
track list: 1. bio duo in the one, 2. nearism, 3. stereo spirit, 4. the family rules, 5. round thought, 6. prayers,
7. agglomerations, 8. working heroes, 9. ghost storm, 10. run D.M.FREE

all the tracks by Li Puma Francesco.
writed/performed/produced/recorded by Li Puma Francesco.
15th June 2004 (Firenze - Italy)

this work is dedicated to the spirit of Albert aYler.

Copies can be obtained by emailing pumathEman.

And here’s the cover:

PUMA

New Additions to the Site

Thanks to Stephen Platt from Australia who sent me a cover scan of ‘Free Jazz’, the version of My Name Is Albert Ayler on the America label. I always thought this was one of the oddest retitlings in the Ayler discography, given the iconic status of the Ornette Coleman LP, and I always assumed this was one of those reissues that didn’t include the spoken introduction, but it does. There’s the usual cut-down version of the cover in the discography but here it is in its full glory:

FREEJAZ

What’s Available page updated for December.

***

Acknowledgements

Richard Leigh, Stephen Platt, Len Pogost, pumathEman and Steve Tintweiss.

***

Branford Marsalis: It’s A Jazz Thing

Branford Marsalis’ documentary about the current state of jazz was shown on Channel Four in the U.K. on the 13th November. Free jazz was invented by John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, with a slight nod to Ornette Coleman. There were interviews with lots of musicians including Ken Vandermark but Albert Ayler was not mentioned at all. Maybe Douglas Wolk got it right - Ayler was a minor musician. Happy Christmas to one and all.

***

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