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June 1  2017


The Fondation Maeght Film - again

I haven’t mentioned the documentary film of Albert Ayler’s final concerts in France in July 1970 for a while, but it turned up in a couple of emails last month. When I first found out about the existence of the film, back in the early days of this site, I emailed the Fondation Maeght and was informed that the film could be viewed on their premises by appointment, so that’s the information that’s been on this site ever since. Turns out, circumstances have changed, so, sorry about that. Dirk Goedeking emailed the Fondation Maeght and made enquiries about the film, and it now seems you can’t make an appointment to see it, you have to wait until they decide to mount a public showing. The other email came from Alain Chauvat, who was actually at the Fondation Maeght concerts in 1970. He writes:

“My first introduction to A. Ayler’s music was when I was fourteen in St Paul-de-Vence; I knew absolutely nothing about jazz. What a shock! In the course of two weeks I discovered Ayler, Sun Ra, Terry Riley, LaMonte Young, Stockhausen.... For Xmas 1970 I got my first Ayler LP: In Greenwich Village. I was lucky enough to have seen twice the movie made at St Paul-de-Vence, first in Paris during the Paris Jazz Festival in 1990 for the 20th celebration of the passing.... In fact due to a huge demand there were two showings of this movie that needs a new mix, because the sound and picture are not synchronised (the sound was about four seconds late...) and I saw it again in a festival -now defunct- in Le Mans in 1992 or 1993, also out of sync.”

For a while now I have been meaning to gather all the stills from the film posted on the Merzbo-Derek blog and add them to this site - I have to thank ‘Merzbo-Derek’ for letting me do this - and I’ve finally got round to it. You’ll find the photos here:

Stills from Albert Ayler: Le Dernier Concert

I’ve not seen the film, so I have no idea whether the screenshots are in the right order, I doubt it. I just took the various blocks of photos from the Merzbo-Derek site and stuck them on here. If you want to make them into an animation, or even an old-fashioned flicker book, then you’ve got more time on your hands than I have, but here’s an unreleased track from the Fondation Maeght concert of 27th July, 1970, to accompany your endeavours:

A Man Is Like A Tree


More from France

Alain Chauvat also sent me the following page from Jazz Magazine No. 125 from December 1965, which is interesting since it has a French version of the Albert Ayler article which later (much later, March 1967) appeared in the International Times. According to Alain:

‘JM sent a questionnaire to many jazzmen/women from the “new thing”; the exception was Albert Ayler, who did not answer question by question (out of 10) but instead sent a written text. This issue of Jazz Mag #125 also had interviews with Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Ornette, Archie Shepp, Karl Berger, Carla Bley, Paul Bley, Jean-Louis Chautemps, Bill Dixon, Don Ellis, Don Friedman, Jimmy Giuffre, Eddie Gomez, Milford Graves, Don Eckman, David Izenzon, Bob James, Steve Lacy, Giuseppi Logan, Jimmy Lyons, Mike Mantler, Steve Marcus, Sunny Murray, Gary Peacock, Barre Phillips, Roswell Rudd, John Tchicai, Charles Tyler, Bernard Vitet, Lewis Worrell.’

A pdf of the original French version is available here (it may appear upside down, sorry) and the English translation is in the Articles section of the Archives.


And yet more ...

Looking around for more information about that issue of Jazz Magazine, I came across this:

‘Free Jazz and the French Critic’
by Eric Drott

The essay was published in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 61 No. 3, Fall 2008 (pp. 541-581). I’ve not had time to read it yet, but I’m hoping it will explain the difference in the response of the French jazz critics to that of the English to Free Jazz.


At The Grave Of Albert Ayler

Pierre Crépon let me know about this piece by bassist Jair-Rohm Wells.


And finally . . .

Free At Last, The Astrology Of Albert Ayler And Beyond


What’s New January - May 2017 is now in the Archives.


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



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


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