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February 1 2017
Thanks to Johann Haidenbauer for letting me know about the January 2017 edition of the Italian magazine, Musica Jazz, which had a feature on Albert Ayler.
As well as the Italian translation of Daniel Caux’s interview with Albert Ayler (which was originally published in L’Art Vivant in February 1971, and an English translation of which, entitled ‘The Road To Freedom’, appeared in The Wire in January 2003) this issue of Musica Jazz also includes a sampler CD featuring the track, ‘No Name’, taken from the recent Hathut release of European Radio Studio Recordings 1964 (originally issued as The Hilversum Session). Click the pictures to see them bigly (!)
A Timely Warning
It’s a far cry from the olden days when amongst les enfants terribles of the avant-garde, Albert Ayler was definitely the terrible-ist. I came across the following items from the British jazz magazine, Crescendo, on the National Jazz Archive site.
Crescendo, September, 1965:
Crescendo, February 1966:
Crescendo, May 1966:
Crescendo, February 1967:
I remember watching that on a Sunday afternoon - it’s on youtube now.
Angels and Ghosts
Last June I mentioned a New York Times review of a concert by Diamanda Galás in which she “turned a wordless Albert Ayler melody, ‘Angels,’ into soaring phrases that merged Ayler’s saxophone vibrato with operatic style.” The concert was recorded and the CD,At Saint Thomas the Apostle Harlem, will be released next month.
Perhaps weirder is the inclusion of ‘Ghosts’ and ‘Angels’ on a baseball-themed CD by Brad Linde’s Team Players. All-American is available on the bandcamp site.
Kasper Collin and Ghosts on a lute
Three items from youtube to end with. A Q & A session with Kasper Collin following the screening of his new film about Lee Morgan, I Called Him Morgan, at the New York Film Festival. And two versions of ‘Ghosts’, one by the Thomas Milovac Unit and this one by François Rascal on the oud (looks like a lute to me).
January 3 2017
Happy New Year
Sorry it’s a bit late.
An Ayler Xmas
Not Bernard Stepien this time, but Mars Williams (of Psychedelic Furs fame), who presented a series of concerts in New Orleans and Chicago in December.
The Chicago concert took place at the Hungry Brain on 18th December with the following line-up: Mars Williams - Sax Josh Berman - Cornet Steve Hunt - Drums Fred Lonberg-Holm - Cello, Guitar, Trumpet James A Baker - Piano & Arp Synth Brian Sandstrom - Bass, Guitar, Trumpet Kent Kessler - Bass.
Point of Departure
Thanks to Pierre Crépon, who, as well as letting me know that the ESP catalog is now available on the Bandcamp site, also told me about a couple of interesting articles in the latest edition of Point of Departure. One is an interview with Abdul Wadud by Joel Wanek and Tomeka Reid, which mentions Ayler in passing, but gives a lot of information about the Cleveland jazz scene. I have to admit I wasn’t really au fait with Abdul Wadud but it turns out he played cello on one of my favourite tracks: ‘The Hard Blues’ from Julius Hemphill’s album, ‘Coon Bid’ness. The other article is Pierre’s obituary of the saxophonist, Marco Eneidi, who died on 24th May last year. Pierre also included a link to the Inconstant Sol site which has details of a rare Jackson Krall cassette of a recording of a 1991 concert by the Associated Big Band, which included Marco Eneidi, and featured a version of ‘Ghosts’. Here’s the cassette insert, and the track is available in flac or mp3 formats.
New Wave In Jazz and Sunny Murray
Kees Hazevoet sent me a couple of interesting items. A double review of The New Wave In Jazz (the Impulse compilation LP which included Ayler’s ‘Holy Ghost’) from Down Beat of 27th January, 1966. Not really a case of ‘so good they reviewed it twice’, actually this was another example of Down Beat’s reaction to the terrifying implications of the avant-garde (I remember they did the same thing with Coltrane’s Meditations). I’ve placed it in the Record Reviews section, but here’s the pdf. And an interview with Sunny Murray (by Spencer Weston, transcribed by Bob Rusch) from the June, 1979 issue of Cadence. Again, that’s now in the Interviews section, but here’s the pdf. Thanks Kees.
And thanks to Dirk Goedeking who found this photo of Nuits de la Fondation Maeght Vol. 1 with its original ‘belly-band’ on the merzbo-derek site.
And finally ...
To round off this rather hurried first update of the year, here’s a rendering of Don Ayler’s ‘Our Prayer’ by a group featuring John Oslansky, Grencsó István (ss), Reinhardt Csaba (ts), György Erika (v), Benkőo Róbert, Schneider Vilmos (b), Jakab Miklós, Lukács Péter (d) recorded in August last year in Nagymaros, Hungary. A suitably sombre ending to the year just gone and perhaps a foreshadowing of the one just begun.
This site went online in June 2000. All the previous ‘What’s New’ pages are available below: