1. Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (Romberg, Hammerstein II) (8:18)
2. I Didn’t Know What Time It Was (Rodgers, Hart) (7:43)
3. Moanin’ (Timmons) (10:13)
4. Good Bait (Dameron) (6:48)
Personnel and recording details the same as Volume One
Released as The First Recordings Vol 2 on Bird Notes (Sweden) BNLP2, DIW (Japan) DIW-25034 (LP), DIW-349 (CD). Jeanne Dielman (Italy) JD 110LP (2016 vinyl release). 2013 download release combined with Volume 1.
From the sleevenotes
“This LP helps toward understanding the way that Ayler has set about hedging-in his freedom, the restraints he devises for himself, his own particular struggle between form and content. Nobody would describe it as his best record - there is, for a start, little genuine rapport between Ayler and his accompanists - but it occupies a fascinating and perhaps a significant niche in jazz history.”
Charles Fox (from the sleevenotes to the Sonet LP 1969 release of Volume One)
There is some dispute over whether there is a third volume of ‘The First Recordings’. The Jeff Schwartz biography lists 4 more titles - 2 alternate takes of ‘Softly As In A Morning Sunrise’, ‘Lover Man’ and ‘Everything Happens To Me’ - and credits ‘Raben 1989’ for the discographical information. The Mike Hames 1983 discography does not mention a third volume. According to Jan Strom of Ayler Records in Sweden, Bengt Nordström (the ‘producer’ of the session) told him that everything that was recorded had been issued on Volumes 1 and 2. This was confirmed by Mats Gustafsson who emailed me in 2012 with the following:
“I was also talking with Bengt about a vol 3.and my understanding of that talk was:
vol. 1 is as is.
vol. 2 is the 3 pieces version (minus moanin).
vol. 3 is vol 2 + moanin (the four track version).”
Mats also said that the original versions of Volume 2 and 3 only existed as test pressings, between 5 and 10 of each. Also there may have been a Japanese version, which packaged all three volumes together.
Next: My Name Is Albert Ayler