Something Different!!!!!

My Name Is Albert Ayler


Swing Low Sweet Spiritual


Spiritual Unity

New York Eye And Ear Control

The Copenhagen Tapes


The Hilversum Session


Spirits Rejoice

Sonny’s Time Now

La Cave Live

At Slug’s Saloon

Live In Europe 1964-66

Stockholm, Berlin 1966

Lorrach/Paris 1966

Lost Performances

In Greenwich Village

Love Cry

New Grass

Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe

The Last Album

Live On The Riviera

Nuits De La Fondation Maeght


Holy Ghost


Complete List

Unreleased Recordings


Don Ayler Discography

What’s Available

The Music:

Some mp3s

Sheet Music



The Inconsistency of
Tune Titles
     Europe 1966
     Slugs’ Saloon
     La Cave






Record Reviews

Concert Reviews

Magazine covers

Images of Albert

Ayler Remembered

Appreciations of Ayler

What’s Old


What’s New

Site Search


January to May



News from 2005 - January to May

January 1 2005


More Reviews of Holy Ghost

The Observer Music Monthly - This is hardcore by Stuart Nicholson

SF Weekly - Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost by Sam Prestianni

The Portland Phoenix - A tale of two saints: Albert Ayler and Lenny Bruce get boxed by Jon Garelick

The Georgia Straight (Canada's Largest Urban Weekly) - Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost by Alexander Varty

The London News Review - 10 Reasons Why I Think I Might Like Albert Ayler

The San Jose Mercury News - A startling rediscovery of a jazz original by Richard Scheinin

Also there’s a 7 minute radio review of Holy Ghost by Kevin Whitehead on the National Public Radio site which includes clips from the set.


Steve Tintweiss

I did intend to do some kind of ‘review of 2004’ during December but Christmas got in the way. Then a few days before the fat man arrived I received a copy of the following email from Steve Tintweiss which seemed to sum up the situation much better than I could, so I thought I’d add it to the site.

“Dear friends and colleagues,

The recent release of the "Holy Ghost" box set is a one-of-a-kind ultimate tribute and documentation of historical proportions presenting the life and times of Albert Ayler, solidifying his position as the saxophone titan, new music innovator of mythical proportions, unsurpassed to this day. It was a distinct honor for me to have played with Albert in the end, on his last known recordings, and to be able to participate now in such a formidable production as executed so meticulously by Austin based Revenant Records. The 212 page book includes details and photos of some 33 listed sidemen, of whom I apparently was the youngest, along with 10 CDs and assorted memorabilia. There is a chronological researched list of all performances, essays on artistic phases, and musician testimonials.

The links below are to the Albert Ayler mirror website in England (The main site got overwhelmed since the October release of "Holy Ghost", so you would likely get "Exceeded Bandwidth" messages). There are links to many reviews already, almost all very positive. Not just jazz or avant-garde music 'zines and online newsletters, but commercial industry publications such as "Billboard" archived at the 2nd link. There is a current Downbeat retrospective, even articles or reviews in general mainstream newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune and New York Times, as well as The New Yorker, Village Voice and foreign language magazines internationally. It's nice to see Albert Ayler's pioneering music career finally seeing the light of exposure beyond the realm of the influenced artists, writers, hard core fan, musicologist, or private traders and collectors.

The 3rd link is to the Revenant Records home page. Indeed, some of the same graphics designers continue to receive Grammy Award nominations this year on top of the three grammys for package production, and historical documentation that Revenant earned for their last Charley Patton box set. The recently announced list of Grammy nominees for this year had a cut-off date of September 30th. I feel confident that the Albert Ayler "Holy Ghost" spirit box will garner nominations in multiple categories at this time next year. If you can afford it - online and in store prices advertise a low of under $75 on ebay to the $109 list, with an average of $100 - the box is well worth the dollars.

The next Ayler project on the horizon is the imminent release of portions of the first 1970 concert at the Maeght Foundation in France, including Albert singing solos and duets on a well recorded radio feed of the quartet with Mary Maria Parks, Allen Blairman on trap drums, and yours truly on bass, which on this side can be clearly heard! This is the first all new release from ESP Disk in decades. There will be both a stereo CD and a surround sound DVD that I'm anxious to hear. My ultimate hope is for a showing of the documentary film of the 2nd Maeght concert, which may be the only filmed Ayler concert footage in existence.

Enjoy the New Year in peace, song, and good health.


Thanks and Best Wishes,

Steve Tintweiss New York City December 2004”


At the Maeght Foundation

I was hoping I could start the New Year with a new addition to the Ayler discography but the release date for ESP’s new Ayler CD (At the Maeght Foundation - ESP 4001) keeps getting put back. Originally it was due out at the end of November but on amazon.co.uk it’s now listed as January 3rd.


Finally. . .

Googling for Holy Ghost reviews I came across a poem, The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost by Brad Haas on the Flashpoint magazine site.


New Additions to the Site

What’s Available page updated for January.


February 1 2005


New Releases - possibly

Still no clear sign of ESP’s At The Maeght Foundation. It’s still not listed in the catalog on the ESP site.

There seems to be a new version of Witches and Devils on the way. I’ve found this mentioned on a few sites as due for release this month. It will be issued under its original title, Spirits, and the accompanying picture on amazon.co.uk is the original artwork from the Debut release. Then again if you click the link on 101cd.com you get a picture of a Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem CD - so who knows? Some sites have it listed on the Breathless label, and some on City Hall. Hopefully things will be a bit clearer next month. Although any new Ayler reissue should be welcomed, other versions of Witches and Devils are still around, whereas one of the classic Ayler albums, Ghosts (aka. Vibrations) has been unavailable for some time now. Since it has a similar release history to Witches and Devils, perhaps we can look forward to a re-release (with an appropriately confusing title) soon.


Holy Ghost Reviews

I haven’t found any more reviews of the box set online, but Steve Tintweiss let me know that the January issue of Stereophile Magazine (one of those scary publications for people with two good ears) has a review of Holy Ghost.

And if you just want to see the highlights of the critical reception of Holy Ghost, then check out the front page of the Revenant Records site.


Jazz Auction

No Ayler content here unfortunately, but I thought it was worth a mention. There’s a massive auction of jazz memorabilia happening on February 20th.in New York. Among the items up for grabs are saxophones belonging to Charlie Parker, Gerry Mulligan, Eric Dolphy and John Coltrane, which made me wonder whatever happened to Ayler’s saxes? Anyway, there’s a Ben Ratliff article about the auction in the New York Times, and if you can’t make it to New York, you can still bid on various items through ebay. Full details about the auction and how you can participate are available on the Guernsey’s auction house website. So if you’ve always wanted to own Coltrane’s soprano, now’s your chance! (I was going to write ‘only rich bastards need apply’, but that’s just envy on my part. Although looking through the lots on offer one does begin to wonder why all this stuff isn’t in a museum somewhere so some of the poor folk can get to look at it.)


New Additions to the Site

What’s Available page updated for February.



Franz Herzog, Guy Kopelowicz, Gary Kingsbury and Steve Tintweiss.


March 10 2005


Ayler spotted on Dutch TV

Thanks to Maarten Derksen for letting me know about this. On the programme, R.A.M., broadcast on the Nederland 3 TV station on 27th. February (repeated 5th March), there was a short (6 minute) item about Albert Ayler. The programme is available online and the Ayler item - a montage of photos and film of various Ayler-related locations, tied together with music and interview clips from the Revenant box set - starts around 53:45 and is the final segment of the show. I don’t know how long it will be available for online viewing, so I thought I’d better not wait until next month’s update to mention it.


March 1 2005


New Albert Ayler CD Released

ESP have finally released the CD of Albert Ayler’s first concert at the Fondation Maeght. It’s been due for release since last November and was originally titled ‘At The Maeght Foundation’. However, the name’s now been changed to Live on the Riviera and here’s the cover:


Although not technically a new release (the original CD on the Italian Blu Jazz label, Albert Ayler Quintet 1970 - Live, was a magazine freebie) Live on the Riviera is the first ‘official’ release of this material. Despite the name of the Blu Jazz version, this is the Ayler quartet (minus Call Cobbs) at the Fondation Maeght on July 25th, 1970. The source of the recording was a radio broadcast but it is certainly equal in sound quality to the Shandar release, Nuits de la Fondation Maeght. Although Shandar recorded both concerts, only tracks from the second night were released and it is presumed that the rest of their tapes have since been lost. Of course the music of the two concerts is similar - late period Ayler, so caveat emptor - but Live on the Riviera is an important addition to the discography, not least because it contains Ayler’s final recorded performance of his signature tune, ‘Ghosts’. For full details of the new release either visit the ESP website or the new page in the Discography. Originally the Blu Jazz version was added at the end of the Nuits de la Fondation Maeght page, but now that the recording has become part of the Ayler/ESP catalog and will hopefully remain in circulation for years to come, I thought it deserved a separate page.

(Just to add a personal note: I first heard this recording when it was circulated among collectors as part of the ‘Ayler tree’, and I did find myself playing it a lot. I still find the last three Impulse albums difficult to stomach and I think if they were Ayler's final statement to the world then there wouldn't be too much mystery in what happened next. However, despite a lot of the material being the same, despite my not being a fan of Mary Maria's contribution to the music, I do think that the Fondation Maeght recordings are classic Ayler. Listening to the New Grass demos in the Holy Ghost set, and then the French recordings, the thing they have in common is a feeling of freedom which the Impulse albums lack. Part of it is obviously due to the relaxed setting of the live concerts, but I think it also owes something to Ayler's band. In one of the Holy Ghost reviews there were some disparaging comments about Ayler's rhythm section in France, but I don't hear it that way. I just hear people having a good time. Maybe the truth wasn't marching in anymore; it was just ambling along with its beret tipped at a rakish angle.)


More from ESP

ESP have also re-released Spiritual Unity with extra photos. Unfortunately not with the alternate take of ‘Spirits’ which appeared on the first copies of the LP. Presumably they’re saving that for the planned Ayler box set. ESP do seem to be getting their act together though and there are a few interesting releases in the pipeline (not just Ayler), so their website is well worth a visit.



And speaking of Spirits, I thought I’d better mention again that there’s now a new version of Witches and Devils in the shops on the Breathless label, released under its original title, Spirits.

I mentioned last month that some sites had the record company listed as City Hall, but that appears to be the distributor of the Breathless label, which originates in Italy. Just in case any breathless Italians are looking in, is there any chance of a CD release of the 3 LP set which Don Ayler made in Florence in 1981?



Thanks to Jeff Stockton who alerted me to the February edition of All About Jazz-New York, which includes an article about Hathut Records, with the following statement: "...Coming later in the year...the first official release of 1966 Albert Ayler dates from Stockholm and Berlin..." I haven’t been able to get any more information about this but there is a 26 minute tape from a TV broadcast in Stockholm from November 10th 1966 in circulation (details on the Unreleased page) so presumably that’s the Stockholm date. As for Berlin - presumably this is from the Berlin Jazz Festival concert from November 3rd 1966, a recording of which has been issued ‘unofficially’ a few times (see Live in Europe 1964-66) but which was also included ‘officially’ in the Holy Ghost box set. Perhaps Hathut have gained access to some other Berlin tapes - I’ll keep you posted.


City Hall

And finally, with all this speculation about new and revised Ayler releases, I thought I should add this little piece of unconfirmed rumour which I came across on the City Hall site:

Artists Name:AYLER, ALBERT
City Hall Catalog Number:6011
UPC Product Code:646315601114
List Price:41.98
Musical Category:JAZZ
Release Date:3/18/2005
Additional Musical Category Notes:
(3-LP box set) Now available on vinyl, This lavishly packaged set is the first edition in a series bringing the "Holy Ghost" box set to vinyl. Features inside its deluxeuble gatefold cover a gorgeous 24" x 24" poster, postcard, printed innersleeves and more. Clear vinyl.

Nothing on the Revenant site about this, but again, we’ll keep watching the skies. By the way, I like the word, ‘deluxeuble’.

Maybe Revenant are aiming at the club scene - that’s not meant as a joke - I was talking to someone the other week, a far hepper cat than I, who had witnessed in the discotheques of Liverpool and Manchester the platters of Albert being spun on a regular basis by the resident disc jockeys.


New Additions to the Site

I may finally be sorting out the ‘excessive bandwidth’ problem, thanks to a friend of mine who bought the web name www.ayler.org and told me I could park the site there for a while. I’m still uploading files but it should be operational in a couple of days. I will continue updating this site (and the mirror site on Tripod) so for a time there will be three identical Ayler sites on the internet, but eventually the plan is to drop the Tripod site altogether, keep the Supanet site as a mirror (since there are a lot of sites out there linked to it) and promote www.ayler.org/albert as the main site.

I did plan to do a major overhaul of the site before shifting it to its new home, but then I realised how big the thing had grown in the last five years and so I settled for a bit of minor tinkering. One thing I have done is start a Bibliography page - since the Ayler books, few as they are, were scattered around the site on the Links and Tributes pages. Now they’re properly listed in the Print section of the Archives.

What’s Available page updated for March.



Richard Leigh, Jeff Stockton and Grainger Reece.


March 10 2005


Ayler spotted on Dutch TV

Thanks to Maarten Derksen for letting me know about this. On the programme, R.A.M., broadcast on the Nederland 3 TV station on 27th. February (repeated 5th March), there was a short (6 minute) item about Albert Ayler. The programme is available online and the Ayler item - a montage of photos and film of various Ayler-related locations, tied together with music and interview clips from the Revenant box set - starts around 53:45 and is the final segment of the show. I don’t know how long it will be available for online viewing, so I thought I’d better not wait until next month’s update to mention it.


April 1 2005


Live on the Riviera review

Although I wasn’t expecting Live on the Riviera to cause the same publicity splash as the Revenant box set, the response to what is effectively a new Ayler release seems disappointingly sparse. So far I’ve only managed to find one review online, by Mark Richardson on the Pitchfork site.


Ayler & Films

Not the Fondation Maeght again and not really news, but checking Ayler’s entry on the All Music Guide, I noticed he was listed as a film composer. Now the only ‘film’ which could legitimately claim an Ayler soundtrack is Michael Snow’s New York Eye And Ear Control, but the All Music Guide lists two films which, on further investigation, did turn out to include Ayler tunes on their soundtracks.

Drømme støjer ikke når de dør (“Dreams Make No Noise When They Die“) was made in Denmark in 1979 by Christian Braad Thomsen and includes a version of “Truth Is Marching In”. The synopsis runs as follows: "In rural Denmark, the less-than-loving family of an old farmer are gathered to await the ailing man's death. The son of the family is a left-wing politician who is embarrassed by his father's having collaborated a little with the Germans during World War II. He is also the sort of person who, when his own German wife is raped by a mentally deficient villager, seeks to lay the blame on the rapist's deprived childhood."

L'Homme Blessé (“The Wounded Man”) was made in France in 1983 by Patrice Chéreau and includes 'Heart Love' from New Grass on the soundtrack. Synopsis: "A young man discovers his homosexuality and begins a relationship with a manipulative huster/petty criminal that he meets at a train station."

Checking imdb.com brought up another one, Eureka, made in Japan in 2000 by Shinji Aoyama. This is about the aftermath of a bus hijack, is in black and white and has a running time of three and a half hours. And it contains something by Ayler on the soundtrack, but I don't know what. I must admit it's not my particular cup of cinematic tea (I'm more of an Audie Murphy man) so if anybody out there has seen it and can let me know which Ayler track relieves the tedium, I'd like to know.


New Additions to the Site

What’s Available page updated for April.



Guy Kopelowicz.


April 11 2005


Swedish Ayler Film Premieres In Stockholm

The Swedish documentary film about Albert Ayler has finally appeared! It’s called “MY NAME IS ALBERT AYLER”, runs for 75 minutes and was directed by Kasper Collin. Jan Strom of Ayler Records first told me that the film was in production about five years ago and since then I’ve been hearing rumours about what it might contain. At the moment details are still a bit sketchy - Mikael Andersson emailed me this morning to tell me about the film and I’ve since tried to find out more from the internet, but the only sites I’ve found are Swedish. From these and Mikael’s email it looks like it contains interviews with Edward Ayler (Albert’s father), Don Ayler, Sune Spångberg, Sunny Murray and Gary Peacock, and Mikael also mentions a phone conversation with Mary Maria and some ‘home movies’ of Ayler in Sweden. I emailed Jan Strom who hasn’t seen it yet, but did say: “I have talked with a friend who saw it and there seems to be one good concert film from Germany with Donald in the group. Some other short clips in less good quality were also included.” So it does look as though I now have to stop saying that the Fondation Maeght film contains the only footage of an Ayler concert in existence. Several of the Swedish sites have the following picture attached to their reviews, with a photographer’s credit to Michael Snow, so I presume the film also contains clips from Snow’s “New York Eye And Ear Control”.


Hopefully I’ll have some more definite information when I do the regular monthly update but in the meantime if you want to try out your Swedish you could try the following sites, the first has the basic details of the film, the second seems to be a longer review:




Mikael Andersson, Brian Carpenter and Jan Strom.


May 1 2005


Ayler on Film

My Name Is Albert Ayler

News of Kasper Collin’s documentary film about Albert Ayler doesn’t seem to have spread beyond Sweden yet. I’ve not been able to contact the director or anyone directly involved in the project and I’ve received no reply from the distributors of the film, Folkets Bio. So, details are still a bit sketchy, for which I apologise. Mikael Andersson, who first alerted me to the release of the film, sent me a few more details about what it contains:

“Yes I have seen the movie, and yes Albert is performing. I have tried to get some more information from the distributor (Folkets Bio), but so far no luck. The movie is quite short:75 min, and the music clips are also short. My guess is that the first clips are from Sweden, Denmark and Germany, Donald is not playing. I read somewhere that clips from "New york eye and ear control" are in this movie. There are some clips with Donald playing. They went on some big jazz tour to europe with a lot of people.One clip is from Coltrane's funeral (very low audio quality). Last clip from France (?) Nuits de la fondation maeght 1970 (?), this is silent from a press meeting, or something. According to a friend who runs the best record shop in Stockholm, there will be a DVD.”

So, I emailed the guy who runs the best record shop in Stockholm but all he can say at the moment is that “the Dvd-release will be in May, hopefully”. And ‘hopefully’ is right. I’m not sure whether people realise how important this film is, although if they’re a regular visitor to this site, the message should have sunk in by now. Until this film was shown in Stockholm at the end of March 2005, the only confirmed film in existence of Ayler performing was the Fondation Maeght documentary of Ayler’s final concerts in France, and that hasn’t been let out of the vaults in Nice for quite a while now. So, all those fans of Ayler who weren’t around to see him play live in the ‘60s, or who weren’t lucky enough to see the European broadcasts on television during the 1966 tour, or who haven’t attended the odd film or jazz festival when the Fondation Maeght film has been shown, have never seen Albert Ayler performing - and that includes me.

As soon as I get any definite details about a DVD release, I’ll post them here.



The mystery of what Ayler recording is included on the soundtrack of the Japanese film, 'Eureka', was cleared up by Jean-David Roubach in the following email:

"EUREKA, by Shinji Aoyama is a brilliant and beautiful movie, and it features part of "Ghosts, first variation", taken from PROPHECY (ESP-3030), but not exactly as a soundtrack, since one of the characters actually plays the record during the movie."


Ayler on Radio


There’s a short piece about Kasper Collin’s film, My Name Is Albert Ayler, on Sveriges Radio P1. Unfortunately my Swedish is non-existent - everybody sounds like Max Von Sydow and I just presume the baldy-headed bloke with the big knife is lurking in the background - but there are a couple of clips in English in there, presumably from the film, and one of them could be Albert’s father, Edward Ayler.



My French is not much better, but at least I can tell this one’s about mort. Tous les blues d'Albert is an hour long radio documentary by Simon Guibert et Yvon Croizier, which was broadcast on February 15th. It is still available online and the following is the description of the programme on the relevant page of the France Culture site.

“    Tous les blues d'Albert
     Une émission coordonnée par Alexandre Héraud et réalisée par Yvon Croizier.
     - De 15h00 à 16h00 : un documentaire de Simon Guibert et Yvon Croizier.

Albert Ayler était un saxophoniste de jazz qui poussa la musique populaire au-delà d’elle même, qui su l’investir d’une force créatrice nouvelle et d’une résonance poétique. Il s’exprima dans une forme qui construisit la déconstruction du formalisme de la musique de jazz, avec un son si terrifiant que de son vivant il ne rencontra qu’incompréhension et quolibets, violence et mépris.
La disparition de cet homme, de ce prophète, retrouvé à Brooklyn, noyé dans l’Est River le 25 novembre 1970, fut sujette à bien des conjectures. Avait-il été assassiné par la CIA, le FBI, victime d’une overdose d’héroïne, éliminé par un tueur engagé par Miles Davis ? En fait, tel un poète incompris, il ne pouvait plus supporter la charge émotionnelle de sa musique, pas plus que l’héritage musical de John Coltrane dont la dernière volonté fut qu’Albert Ayler joue (avec Ornette Coleman) à ses funérailles... Mais quelle fut la cause réelle de sa mort ?

Avec : Archie Shepp ; Daniel Caux ; Michel Lebris ; Delfeil de Ton ; Alain Trutat ; Alain Corneau et la voix dAlbert Ayler.
Des poésies de : Jacqueline Cahen ; Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka) ; Arthur Rimbaud et des documents inédits.

Did we know that about Miles Davis? Makes sense to me.



Mea Culpa. (Latin, I know.) On 18th March the Jazz Legends programme on BBC Radio 3 was devoted to Albert Ayler - and I missed it! It’s also too late to listen to it online, but I did manage to get hold of a copy of the programme and a very strange thing it is too. Presenter Julian Joseph and author James Wylie were very respectful to the man and although a few factual errors crept into the conversation, there was no attempt to diminish Ayler's status as a 'jazz legend'. But, if you were going to choose eight tracks to accompany a programme on Ayler, would you choose these:

“Tune Up" and "Rollin's Tune" from The First Recordings, 'Holy Holy' from Witches and Devils, 'Ghosts: First Variation' from Spiritual Unity, 'Angels' from Spirits Rejoice, 'Our Prayer' from Live at Slugs Saloon, 'Heart Love' from New Grass and 'Drudgery' from Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe.

Maybe you'd use one from The First Recordings and one from the Impulse 'rock' period to place Ayler's development in some kind of perspective, but it seems odd that there's nothing there from the Don Cherry quartet or the Greenwich Village recordings. The blurb from the Radio Times captures the ‘not quite right’ feel of the programme:

Jazz Legends
Albert Ayler
Author James Wylie talks to Julian Joseph about one of the giants of free jazz, tenor saxophonist and band leader Albert Ayler. Nicknamed “Little Bird” because of his early tone, which was similar to that of Charlie Parker; Ayler started on the R&B circuit and later collaborated with multi-instrumentalist Don Cherry. Ayler’s compositions take in Irish jigs and marches, while John Coltrane’s music most definitely takes on Albert Ayler overtones.”

Still, it was nice for the BBC to make an effort. Nicer still if Courtney Pine had taken the hint and included Ayler in his recent three part Radio 3 series on the history of the saxophone, 'The Joy of Sax' - but no, Albert didn't rate a mention.


New Slug’s

Yet another version of Live At Slugs Saloon has been released. This time it’s just called Slug’s Saloon, it’s on the Fruit Tree label and is a 2CD digipack. The good news is that it’s the full five track version, rather than Lonehill’s misleadingly titled Complete Live At Slug’s Saloon which was lacking the track, ‘Initiation’. Not sure how many versions of Live At Slug’s Saloon are out there at the moment. The Lonehill version seems to be quite widely distributed, some internet stores still have the Italian Get Back version (which I would guess was the origin of the new Fruit Tree version) and then there’s the ESP version which follows the original LP release and divides it into two separate volumes. And when I was updating the What’s Available page I noticed hmv.co.uk still has Black Revolt in stock which is a very old German version of Slug’s Saloon Vol. 2. And considering ESP are remastering their catalog, I guess we’ll be getting another version from them soon - hopefully they’ll see sense and make it a double CD. It’s getting very hard to resist making salt jokes.


Ayler Tributes


Spiritual Unity is a new Marc Ribot project, a band comprising himself on guitar, Roy Campbell on trumpet, ex-Ayler alumnus Henry Grimes on bass and Chad Taylor on drums. The new CD on the Pi Recordings label is due out this month and contains versions of 'Spirits', 'Truth is Marching In', 'Saints' and 'Bells'. To quote from the Pi Recordings site:

"Spiritual Unity is a group dedicated to re-creating and re-imagining the collective musical process of Albert Ayler. Marc Ribot has spent a musical lifetime listening to and internalizing the communicative group process essential to Ayler’s music. Presented with the opportunity to perform along side Henry Grimes, Roy Campbell and Chad Taylor, an alumnus, a practioner and a prodigy, Marc felt the time was right to launch a new cooperative band.

The combination of Ribot and Taylor’s rock influences with the free jazz/improvised language of Grimes and Campbell effectively come together in interpreting the music of a figure that to this day remains one of the pillars of modern sound. The album’s five tracks, four by Ayler and one Ribot original, demonstrate the flexibility as well as the transcendent and ecstatic elements that have come to define Ayler’s music."



Gardens by the Improvisational Arts Council has an Ayler-inspired track called "Brer Albert's Briar Patch", a clip of which can be found on the Louisiana Music Factory site. The track is suitably Aylerian and the literary allusion is quite apt. The band consists of Janna Saslaw (flute), Eric Shuman (sax, keyboard), Mark Fowler (guitar), Jimbo Walsh (bass), Endre Landsnes (drums) and that frontline of flute and sax makes a glorious noise. There’s a review of the CD on the Best of New Orleans site.


Riviera Reviews

Thanks to Jeff Stockton who let me know about these two online reviews of Live on the Riviera:

Derek Taylor in Dusted
Clifford Allen in
Paris Transatlantic Magazine


And finally...

Just thought I’d mention this here since the message board doesn’t get that much traffic and this posting from Steve Tintweiss includes a bit of information about Albert Ayler which I don’t remember coming across before:

“It may be of interest that the Burton Greene record on Columbia mentioned below, which I play bass on, and John Hammond produced, along with the never released Sunny Murray recording, only came about because John Hammond was given a small budget by Columbia to produce an avant-garde jazz album of his preference (so that Columbia could claim to carry of full line of contemporary jazz) was intended to be of Albert Ayler circa 1967-68. However, when Albert turned down the offer of $2000, John recorded Burton and Sunny instead.”

Presumably Ayler turned it down because of his Impulse contract. You can read the full message by clicking the message board button at the foot of this page.


New Additions to the Site

What’s Available page updated for May.



Mikael Andersson, Maarten Derksen, Ian Fenton, Alexandre Héraud, Jean-David Roubach, Eric Shuman, Jeff Stockton and Geoff Walker.


May 9 2005


Marc Ribot’s Spiritual Unity on the radio

Thanks to Maarten Derksen for letting me know that ‘Spiritual Unity’, the Albert Ayler tribute band led by Marc Ribot (mentioned below), is appearing on Dutch radio just after midnight this coming Friday. The programme, 4FM: is dit nog wel Jazz?, features the first part of a concert from the Amsterdam Bimhuis recorded on April 18th. The second part will be broadcast on June 25th. The programme goes out at 00:02 am, Saturday, 14th May (i.e. two minutes after midnight on Friday) and I presume it can be listened to live on the internet. If you miss it, then the link above should take you to the archived programme.


Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen

Sad to report the death of Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. He died in Copenhagen on 19th April, aged 58. There are various tributes and obituaries on the Jazzcorner's Speakeasy board. Although he was more famous for his work with Oscar Peterson et al, early in his career he did record with Albert Ayler, on the 1963 album, My Name Is Albert Ayler. Although he was an Ayler sideman more by accident than design, I felt that his passing should be noted here.

(And although there is no specific Ayler connection I thought I couldn't ignore the death last month of another great bassist, Percy Heath, on April 28th at the age of 81. It was the MJQ's recording of Ornette Coleman's 'Lonely Woman' which first sparked my interest in free jazz.)


Another Riviera Review

James Taylor reviews Live on the Riviera on the All About Jazz site.



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