Mats Gustafsson adds the following information about the original test pressings of BNLP2:
‘This is the one. This is the one!
This is the mythical vol 2 of Ayler´s legendary Something Different!!!! Recording produced by Bengt Nordström. The version with 4 track.
So here is the facts: There is the first version 2A/2B that has 3 tracks. This version has, 2A / 2C, is as the the official re-issue by Japanese DIW, 4 tracks, adding Moanin to the palette!
Both versions of vol 2 on Bird Notes are extremely extremely rare…. And if you have us guessing: the first version might exist in around 10 copies and the 2A / 2C in less then that.
But , since Bengt Nordström passed away in 2000, we will never know for sure.
We just know that this is one of the most collectible records ever in the history of free jazz and creative music!
Music is of course absolutely out of control GREAT!!!!
We think the reason why Bengt didn’t include those pieces on vol 1 might just be the fact that some jerk is whistling (!) along with the trio on these tracks…
In a way disturbing… on the other hand…. Quite beautiful!!! And Ayler is in mean form here… he is biting hard… and struggling… and creating one of the most amazing pieces of music ever.
Some “experts” always claim that the bass and drum was not up to his level and that this music is just a paranthesis in the ayler discography.
We don’t agree.
Torbjörn Hultkrantz and Sune Spångberg is backing up, commenting and struggling with Ayler in a most creative way. We LOVE this. The research…. The struggle… the interaction.
We can hear the music about to come!!!
And isn’t that the most interesting periods in music anyway ? before the new music is defined…. When the research is still happening?
This is exactly right before the term “free jazz” was defined by Ayler himself and his collegues Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Archie Shepp, Bill Dixon and others.
It is “jazz” but free… the way the musicians move around the themes and the harmonies… is free… in a way not heard before or after this session, that was recorded by Bengt Nordström himself at the the Academy of Arts ( Mejan) or (?) the main hall of the royal academy of music. This has yet to be confirmed , where it actually was recorded.
…and …There has been some disputes about if there is a vol 3 or not?
According to Bengt himself, when he was asked years ago: there is no vol 3.
And according to DC, that has in the DC archives the complete metal masters of Bird Notes: there is no vol 3.’
In 2016 both versions of the test pressings were offered for sale on ebay for $6,000 each. The 3 track version had the following description:
‘ALBERT AYLER first recordings - 3 TRACKS '63 *TEST PRESS ONLY* BIRD NOTES BNLP 2
only 5 or 10 made! EXTREMELY RARE grail w/ COVER - HEAR
ARTIST : ALBERT AYLER
TITLE : UNTITLED (THE FIRST RECORDINGS VOL. 2 - VERSION 1)
LABEL & CATALOG NUMBER : BIRD NOTES, sweden / BNLP 2 (BN LP 2 A / BN LP 2 B matrix numbers)
FORMAT : TEST PRESSING LP
COVER CONDITION : EX very thin fragile fully laminated cover, with upside-down rear graphics & no track list. very clean front & back, slight edge & corner wear, some very minor creases at corners & edges. *NO ORIGINAL COVERS WERE ISSUED FOR THIS LP, but very likely the few test pressings made were placed in leftover 'SOMETHING DIFFERENT!!!!!!' covers, as this copy is.
VINYL CONDITION : VG very nice bright gloss & no major flaws at all, just numerous hairlines, surface scuffs & slight surface scratches. looks to have been played very little so likely the wear is from poor storage over the years rather then from use. blank white labels as issued, with hand penned 'II' on side 2. plays well with some non-overpowering surface noise but good clear fidelity. please HEAR IT below.
NOTES : this is the 1963 ORIGINAL 3 TRACK VERSION TEST PRESSING. a true mega rarity on offer here, most certainly grail level for any serious albert ayler or free jazz collector. this is the original 1963 TEST PRESSING ONLY release on the short lived swedish BIRD NOTES label run by free jazz alto sax player & producer BENGT NORDSTROM (aka FRIPPE NORDSTROM). this label released albert ayler's well known debut album 'SOMETHING DIFFERENT!!!!!!' the same year (BIRD NOTES / BNLP 1). these recordings are from the same session, recorded october 25th, 1962, at the main hall of the academy of music, stockholm, sweden, and feature a young ALBERT AYLER (tenor sax) backed by TORJORN HULTCRANTZ (bass) and SUNE SPANGBERG (drums).
this extremely rare test pressing lp exists in two original versions : the 3 track version (commonly referred to as THE FIRST RECORDINGS VOL. 2) which we have here, and as a 4 track version (sometimes referred to as THE FIRST RECORDINGS VOL. 3). both versions use the same BNLP 2 catalog number, but use different matrix numbers. neither version was ever pressed as a standard edition, and no packaging was created for the release (hence the use of a left over 'SOMETHING DIFFERENT!!!!!!' cover here). after the test pressings were created, the planned release was cancelled, and the designated catalog number was recycled for the BENGT NORDSTROM 'NATURAL MUSIC' lp. at the time ONLY 5 TO 10 COPIES MAXIMUM OF EITHER VERSION WERE PRESSED. the material found here was later reissued, circa 1980, in japan, and in various other forms since, but these incredibly rare test pressings are the only original copies ever produced.
this is the original 3 TRACK test pressing, with the correct machine stamped BN LP 2 A / BN LP 2 B matrix numbers in the trail-off. a seriously rare album & highly significant artifact from the earliest sessions of a truly great & unique free jazz originator.
to the best of our knowledge, no original copy of this 3 track test pressing has ever sold on the open market, and after consulting with some highly respected rare jazz lp dealers, we were able to discover only 1 copy having sold at all, in a private sale over 20 years ago, for a price of nearly $8,000.00.
this 3 track version contains the songs SOFTLY AS IN A MORNING SUNRISE, I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TIME IT WAS, and GOOD BAIT.’
And was accompanied by the pictures below: