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BAN203

                                         “One day, everything will be, as it should be.”                            home

October  1 2018

 

Fire Music

firemusicposter

Tom Surgal’s documentary about Free Jazz, Fire Music, received its world premiere at the New York Film Festival on 29th September. It’s a bit soon for the reviews, but I’ve found this one by Steve Kopian, and there’s also this video of the Q&A which followed the screening. However, the film’s website and facebook page now seem to have been updated, so further information on the film’s progress will be available there.

 

Still on the subject of films. I suddenly remembered that there was a jazz documentary based around the photos of Val Wilmer, called Jazz Is Our Religion, so I had a look round in case it was available online - it isn’t - but I did come across this fascinating glimpse of Ted Joans in this extract from a 1964 film Jazz & Poetry by Louis van Gasteren, recorded in Amsterdam in 1964, reciting his poem, ‘Jazz Is My Religion’.

 

Those Pesky Russians

I rely on Dirk Goedeking to find me the strangest reissues of Ayler albums and this month he sent me these Russian CDs he found on the Japanese Yahoo Auction site. The double CDs each contain several complete Ayler albums in mp3 format.

Green 1-2 Front Green 1-2 Back
Green 3-4 Front Green 3-4 Back
Red 1-2 Front Red 1-2 Back
Red 3-4 Front Red 3-4 Back
yukiss 2 Front
yukiss 2 Back

Information on these ‘items’ is thin on the ground, a quick google just brought up a Joy Division site since that modern beat combo has been given the same treatment, and this explanation on the Tapeheads forum. Dirk supplied the following translations of some of the Russian on the covers:

‘The Russian text on the green one is “Collection Albums; Part 1-2 or 3-4; at home collection”, on the red one “Complete Artistic Anthology; Part 1-2 or 3-4; at home collection” and on the backsides “Albums included in CD*; total time of playback: ** hours ** minutes”.
     They seem to be released by the labels “at home collection” and “yukis”. Probably illegal but interesting. The kyrillic letters give them a special flair.’

I think ‘probably’ is unnecessary in this case, but interesting, in a way, since they do contain the music from the Holy Ghost box set, which is now in some kind of legal limbo. The Japanese Yahoo auction site also contains a couple of bootleg DVDs of Kasper Collin’s My Name Is Albert Ayler, taken from the Swedish TV version. If you have already downloaded a copy of the film and want to preserve it in a nice case with a proper cover, there are two to choose from - the ‘Blue Mark Music Produced By Zooey Records’ version or the ‘Music Is The Healing Force...’ one.

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Socialism

That was neat. There’s an interesting article about the political nature of Free Jazz on the SocialistWorker.org site. ‘Envisioning A Free World Through Free Music’ by Dylan DelGiudice “provides an introduction to the visionary world of ‘free jazz’” and makes the distinction between the political and spiritual branches of the music, which a lot of critics tend to miss these days.

It’s worth mentioning also that Marc Ribot has a new album out. Not one of his Ayler tributes, but more in the vein of Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra.

ribotsongs

With his new album Songs of Resistance 1948 - 2018, Ribot - one of the world’s most accomplished and acclaimed guitar players - set out to assemble a set of songs that spoke to this political moment with appropriate ambition, passion, and fury. The eleven songs on the record are drawn from the World War II anti-Fascist Italian partisans, the U.S. civil rights movement, and Mexican protest ballads, as well as original compositions, and feature a wide range of guest vocalists, including Tom Waits, Steve Earle, Meshell Ndegeocello, Justin Vivian Bond, Fay Victor, Sam Amidon, and Ohene Cornelius.”

There’s an interview with Marc Ribot at the Daily Beast, under the headline, ‘Marc Ribot Leads a Musical Army Protesting Against Trump’.

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Noel McGhie

Politics also figures in the interview with Noel McGhie, conducted by Pierre Crépon and Jochen Behring, in the current edition of Point of Departure. Again, no Ayler content, but well worth reading for the information it reveals about the French Free Jazz scene of the 1970s. Noel McGhie was born in Jamaica and moved to England when he was 18 to continue his trade as an electrician, but bureaucracy (one hopes) got in the way, and he took up the drums and joined a band. He went on to play with Steve Lacy, Archie Shepp and many others. This is just the first part of the interview, with more to come in the November issue.

Also, I’d recommend Bill Shoemaker's 'Page One' column on Point of Departure about John Coltrane’s 'new' album, Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album.

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And talking of Coltrane

I came across this photo of John Coltrane’s funeral on the facebook Ayler group page:

coltranefunerlpic

I don’t remember seeing this wide shot before, although I do have this close-up of the band which, from the angle, would seem to have been taken by the same photographer.

coltranefuneral4

And the facebook Ayler group also turned up this photo by Naoki Mukouda:

albertmaria

Marte Röling

There’s an interview with Marte Röling about her distinctive Fontana album cover designs (this is one of those oft recurring bits of Aylerian ephemera) on the mellowtown site. Pierre Crépon let me know about it, but also warned me that the reason why the Fontana release of Ayler’s Spirits (aka Witches & Devils) never occurred is neither discussed nor explained.

fontanaspirits

Some lists

Spiritual Unity makes it into Kris Needs’ Top 5 NYC Albums Of All Time and Augustus Payne’s (owner of Cleveland’s A Separate Reality record shop) ‘three albums you should check out’. And In Greenwich Village makes it into Treble’s Impulse! Records: 25 Essential Albums (as well it should).

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Youtube roundup

Here’s an LP from Bengt ‘Frippe’ Nordstrom (architect of Albert Ayler’s First Recordings) - Now’s The “Frippe” Time. And here’s Albert meeting Elise on a guitar. And, finally, is it too early for this?

 

What’s New June - September 2018 is now in the Archives.

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This site went online in June 2000. All the previous ‘What’s New’ pages are available below:

Archives

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If you have any information about Albert Ayler, or any questions or corrections, then please email me, Patrick Regan.

 

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