Albert Ayler

Introducing the December 2022/January 2023 issue of Jazzwise, featuring Albert Ayler

The latest issue features our not-to-be-missed Albums of The Year Critics Poll and an exploration of the mysterious life and music of Albert Ayler. Jazzwise magazine’s December/January double issue is out now featuring an exclusive cover and feature exploring the mysterious life and music of spiritual jazz sax pioneer Albert Ayler. Inside the winners of Jazzwise’s not-to-be-missed Albums of The Year Critics Poll are revealed with the full Top 20 New Releases and Reissues of the year announced.
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Holy Ghost: The Life & Death of Free Jazz Pioneer Albert Ayler

Holy Ghost: The Life & Death of Free Jazz Pioneer Albert Ayler. There's a special enthusiasm in the Cleveland, Ohio, jazz orbit for avant-garde saxophonist Albert Ayler—an insistent push to celebrate, memorialize, canonize a legend thought to be unjustly forgotten by his hometown—that isn't seen for, say, Tadd Dameron or Jim Hall. (Leading this charge is New Ghosts, a three-man team dedicated to presenting free jazz and other experimental music shows in the vein of Ayler.) Maybe it's because Ayler's music wasn't widely accepted during his lifetime, taking decades to gain a broader audience that encompasses even those—or especially those—not particularly interested in more standard jazz fare. That, coupled with the mystery and wildness of his sound, can make Ayler seem as much a contributor to our own turbulent times as an interesting figure of some archived past.
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Peter Niklas Wilson – ‘Spirit’s Rejoice! Albert Ayler and His Message’

Spirit’s Rejoice! Albert Ayler and His His Message by Peter Niklas Wilson. (Wolke PBK 176 pp. Book review by Andy Hamilton) The late Peter Niklas Wilson was a sober, insightful commentator who wrote superb musical biographies of Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler. His superb short biography of the prophet of the New Thing has now appeared in an excellent English translation.
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Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

All About Jazz is celebrating Albert Ayler's birthday today!. Tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler was born on July 13th 1936 in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He learned to play the alto sax at a young age. His father, Edward, encouraged his musical interests and was his first teacher. Albert Ayler continued his musical education at John Adams High School, where he played oboe, and at the local music academy. His first gig was with Lloyd Pearson and his Counts of Rhythm when has was 15 in 1951. This led to a job with Little Walter Jacobs’ R&B band with whom he spent the following two summer vacations traveling. After graduating from high school in 1954... Read more.

Albert Ayler – ‘Revelations: The complete ORTF 1970 Fondation Maeght Recordings’

Albert Ayler – Revelations: The complete ORTF 1970 Fondation Maeght Recordings. (Elemental 5-LP or 4-CD set. 5990443. Album review by Jon Turney) Three great saxophonists helped ease jazz out of the initially liberating but ultimately confining conventions of bebop. John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman’s contributions to this new-found, or reinvented, freedom are recognised as monumental, their influence acknowledged far and wide. The third, Albert Ayler, gets less attention. A small discography, much of it poor quality and unavailable for long spells, and a cruelly abbreviated career that meant few ever shared a bandstand with him, go some way to account for this. The stark simplicity of his actual compositions, usually fragmentary folk melodies, didn’t help. People often play such tunes now, but you need to be a very confident improviser to build something worthwhile out of them, and they give arrangers little to work with. You don’t hear Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra sets dedicated to Ayler.

Albert Ayler, Jones Jones, Jonathan Reisen & Charles Mingus

Two previously unreleased recordings by two of the seminal artists in creative music get sampled this time out: Albert Ayler's Revelations—The Complete ORTF 1970 Fondation Maeght Recordings and Charles Mingus' The Lost Album From Ronnie Scott's. For Ayler, this was his last recorded music before he died later that year. The tapes for the Mingus release sat untouched in the Mingus Archives until now. Other new recordings sampled are the Kevin Jones "Kevin Bujo Jones" Trio of Larry Ochs, Mark Dresser & Vladimir Tarasov, Israeli transplant saxophonist Jonathan Reisin, the Zurich Jazz Orchestra, Secret People, and Sonic Liberation Front's em>Justice—Vocal Works of Oliver Lake.

Albert Ayler :: Revelations – The Complete ORTF 1970 Recordings

When an artist dies young, we’re often left wondering what could have been and looking for clues among their final records and performances. In the case of Albert Ayler, the search is especially frustrating: his death by suicide in November 1970 cut short an intense and singular career, right as he started moving in a new direction. Revelations: The Complete ORTF 1970 Recordings, a new four-CD/Five-LP set available through Elemental Music provides a tantalizing glance at some of the saxophonist’s final performances: two full shows finally presented in complete form.

Albert Ayler made sublime music. The world was not ready

A tenor saxophone hops over an interval like it's a turnstile. And for a moment, the energy alight from two hours of hard-blown, soul-cleansing music seems on the edge of redoubling its power. But fingers fly over piano keys to settle on floating blocks of sound — restless, yet slow, like a train chugging up a hill. The saxophone responds in kind, not so much dancing or dragging around the melody, but reshaping its purpose: resilient, beautiful, final. "Music is the healing force of the universe," a voice intones with deep vibrato, as sax, piano, upright bass and skittering drums undulate, seemingly in perfect waveform with the vibration. The stately theme, one that's been echoed by several musicians over many decades, exalts not its creators but creation.

Albert Ayler: Revelations

There are lovingly curated box sets and there is Albert Ayler's Revelations: The Complete ORTF 1970 Fondation Maeght Recordings. The 5 x LP / 4 x CD set documents in full the two concerts Ayler gave at the high-end performance and visual arts facility in Provence, France in July 1970, just four months before he passed, so tragically and prematurely. Everything about the release is near perfect, from the sonics through to the hundred-page booklet which project producer Zev Feldman has put together. The LP edition is released on April 23, 2022, which is Record Store Day, the CD edition a week later.

Albert Ayler: La Cave Live-Cleveland 1966-Revisited

Cleveland club La Cave, a grungy cellar which could accommodate around two hundred people, opened as a folk venue in 1962, transitioned into rock mid-decade, and closed in 1969. Along the way, in amongst such counterculture flagbearers as the Velvet Underground and The Fugs, La Cave booked a few of the bad boys of so-called "new thing" jazz, among them tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler, a Cleveland hometown hero.

Mars Williams Blends Albert Ayler With Christmas

The holidays are upon us. If you are tired of being bombarded with the annual crass commercialization, consider Mars Williams’ as the antidote. For the last decade Chicago-based saxophonist Williams has been performing the music of Albert Ayler to celebrate the season, blending it with well-known holiday classics. Mars...

Albert Ayler: 10 Essential Albums

Albert Ayler’s free jazz recordings still have the power to shock and awe those who confront it for the first time today. Here are 10 of his greatest moments on record…

Albert Ayler: 10 Essential Albums

Ayler's 1964 studio debut for Bernard Stollman's ESP-Disk label is a bench mark free jazz recording that still has the power to shock and awe those who confront it for the first time. With forceful backing from Peacock and Murray, Ayler blows up a soul stirring hurricane of free expression and new sounds whose echo in the avant jazz and rock scene still resonates today.