Albert Ayler: Nuits De La Fondation Maeght 1970 (2002)
Ayler’s music can still be heard in the music of his disciples, Peter Brotzmann, David Murray, and Ken Vandermark. His genius was his ability to link the freedom and outwardness of his sound with more traditional music, thus tossing down breadcrumbs to follow back to more traditional jazz. Even if others including John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, and Pharoah Sanders chose not to follow this disintegrating path, there have always been bits and pieces of Ayler’s concepts in their music.
The significance of this historical recording is not its revelation but in the rawness of its presentation. Without brother Donald Ayler on trumpet, hospitalized with mental problems, and dropped by his label Impulse!, Ayler was marching the truth in alone. David Keenan’s new liner notes revive this remastered/reissued disc, and place this date in an accurate historical context.
Ayler returned to France after his triumphant concert in 1966 which was also recently remastered and reissued as Lörrach, Paris (Hatology). This trip seems to be (only in hindsight) a bit more desolate and frantic. Ayler peels away the accessibility that was his Impulse! recordings for a raw sound. He merely hints at the marches and the spirituals before erupting into stratospheres of sound, daring pianist Cal Cobbs and drummer Allen Blairman to follow. For fans of his music, his deconstruction pares the music to its essence. Those new to Ayler will discover the origins of much of the free jazz heard worldwide today. The crude microphone setup finds Ayler front and center with his trio almost an afterthought. But credit should be given to Water Records for their remaster. This edition is significantly better than the out-of-print Shandar and Jazz View editions.
Track Listing: In Hearts Only; Spirits; Holy Family; Spirits Rejoice; Truth Id Marching In; Universal Message; Spiritual Reunion; Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe.
Personnel: Albert Ayler
Record Label: Water Music
Style: Modern Jazz