“One day, everything will be, as it should be.” home
July 1 2017
Don Ayler concert
Richard Koloda has unearthed a recording of a Don Ayler concert at Cleveland State University from 3rd May, 1981. The Don Ayler Sextet (Don Ayler (c), Frank Doblekar (ts), Ed MacEachen (g), David Thomas (p), Kip Reed (b), Marty Barker (d)) perform three tunes, ‘The Be-Bop Song’, ‘The Eastern Tune’ and ‘Coltrane’s Blues’, then the Cleveland State University Jazz Ensemble play five more (with Don Ayler advertised as co-conductor). The concert took place about six weeks before Don’s trip to Italy and his concerts in Florence, so the music of the sextet is similar to that, although there is only one other musician in both groups - the tenor player, Frank Doblekar. This is an ad for the concert from the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Staying in Cleveland, this is a short video from Cool Cleveland featuring Matt Laferty and Andy Auten from the New Ghosts group which keeps Albert Ayler’s legacy alive in his home town.
More from youtube
I must thank Dirk Goedeking for letting me know about the above. Dirk also mentioned a lecture by Dr, François-Marc Gagnon on the subject of ‘The Human Figure in Canadian Art: Michael Snow’s “Walking Women”’, given at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on 16th June, 2004. According to Dirk, New York Eye And Ear Control gets a mention, but Albert doesn’t. And if that’s not esoteric enough for you, there is a French version.
And here’s David Kettlewell playing his chromatic harmonica to Albert Ayler’s version of George Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’, in the dark, for some reason. Larry Adler, eat your heart out.
Guitar vs. Saxophone
A battle I frequently have with my mate Clive, but now it seems we are embarking on a new period of peace and reconciliation, with ultimateGuitar.com featuring ‘Jazz Saxophone Virtuosos’. Albert makes the list, but, rather surprisingly, Coleman Hawkins doesn’t.
A few odd tributes
I’ve linked to the live performance on youtube a couple of times, but I thought I should mention that Lewis Jordan’s Ayler tribute, ‘Heaven’s Bells’ is included on his new CD. Full details of This Is Where I Came In by Lewis Jordan and Music at Large are available on the cdbaby site.
And, finally, the Argentinian guitarist, Claudio Nuñez has a new download album featuring Ayler versions and tributes, described as “some extrapolations on ayler’s music with a little beefheart”.
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:
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:
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.’
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.