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. February 2018 CD release of Volume 1 and 2 combined on Go! Bop! (Germany) GB016CD. 2019 vinyl release of Volume 1 and 2 on Alternative Fox (Italy) FOX 008. In April 2022 Sowing Records released a vinyl version, SOW 018LP.
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