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Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

18

Film Review

Fire Music: The Story of Free Jazz

Read "Fire Music: The Story of Free Jazz" reviewed by Chris May


Fire Music: The Story of Free Jazz Submarine Deluxe 2021 There is much to like about this lovingly put together history of the so-called free jazz of the 1960s and 1970s. Over a decade in the making, the film, directed by self- declared genre obsessive Tom Surgal, is a compilation of interviews with, and archive performances by, many of the luminaries of the movement. Practically every minute of spoken- word content in the 88-minute ...

14

Album Review

Albert Ayler: New York Eye And Ear Control Revisited

Read "New York Eye And Ear Control Revisited" reviewed by Chris May


The development of so-called free jazz in New York during the first half of the 1960s was topped and tailed by three landmark recordings: Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz (Atlantic, 1961), John Coltrane's Ascension (Impulse, 1966) and Albert Ayler's New York Eye And Ear Control (ESP, 1966). Of the three discs, only New York Eye And Ear Control broke away completely from jazz's normative structure of theme/solos/theme. Commissioned as an art-film soundtrack, Ayler's recording was also the product of an altogether ...

16

Album Review

Albert Ayler Quartet with Don Cherry: European Recordings Autumn 1964 Revisited

Read "European Recordings Autumn 1964 Revisited" reviewed by Chris May


Many attempts have been made to locate the source of tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler's muse in American history and culture. Among the less outlandish suggestions are the field hollers of slaves toiling on Southern plantations and the Pentecostal church's tradition of talking in tongues. Given the importance Ayler's parents placed on him attending church as a child, and his own abiding interest in spiritual matters, talking in tongues could well figure. The most likely source, however, yet the one most ...

17

Multiple Reviews

Albert Ayler & New York Contemporary Five: Revisited, Remastered, Resplendent

Read "Albert Ayler & New York Contemporary Five: Revisited, Remastered, Resplendent" reviewed by Chris May


The Swiss-based ezz-thetics label was launched in 2019 by Hat Hut Records' founder, Werner X. Uehlinger, and its Revisited strand is a jazz aficionado's dream. The series is devoted to landmark avant-garde recordings from the 1960s, and ezz-thetics does more than simply reissue them. Peter Pfister, Uehlinger's longtime mastering Jedi, improves the audio quality of the discs so substantially that listening to them is, at times, almost like hearing the music anew. Among the albums in the Revisited catalogue are ...

3

Album Review

Albert Ayler Quintet: 1966: Berlin, Lörrach, Paris & Stockholm. Revisited

Read "1966: Berlin, Lörrach, Paris & Stockholm. Revisited" reviewed by Mark Corroto


It may sound odd to describe the music that Albert Ayler's quintet performs here as the musical equivalent of comfort food, but these sounds can be associated with security and nostalgia. They are a reminder of the spark ignited by this tenor saxophonist from Cleveland. Ayler, maybe more than any artist of his day, paved the way for free jazz by linking it to the music of New Orleans, African-American spirituals, marching bands, and national anthems. If no Ayler, then ...

6

Album Review

Albert Ayler: Albert Ayler 1965: Spirits Rejoice & Bells Revisited

Read "Albert Ayler 1965: Spirits Rejoice & Bells Revisited" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Being that 2020 is more than half a century since Albert Ayler (1936-70) recorded this music, the best way to approach might be through what the Zen Buddhists call Shoshin. Roughly translated as “beginner's mind," or the ability to experience things as if for the first time. Since we cannot transport ourselves back to 1965, taking a posture of readiness and being open to experience the revelatory nature of this music might be the best plan of attack.

13

Album Review

Albert Ayler Trio: 1964: Prophecy Revisited

Read "1964: Prophecy Revisited" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Albert Ayler is often quoted as saying “Trane was the Father, Pharoah was the Son, I am the Holy Ghost," referring to John Coltrane, “Pharoah Sanders," and himself. It might be better said that Ayler was John The Baptist, the musical prophet that proclaimed the coming of free jazz. Like many a prophet, his end was agonizing. Ayler drowned in the East River in 1970, after a very brief eight year recording career. Coltrane knew then what many ...


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