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Albert Ayler

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 he went to a local college but financial difficulties forced him to leave college in 1956 and join the army. He continued to play in the military band and regularly practiced with other musicians. He spent his last two years of service in France and then in 1961 he left the army and moved to California for a brief period before returning to Cleveland.

His music was moving into the free jazz genre but with his own unique style. He was not able to find work though in the US and moved to Sweden in 1962 where he made his first recordings, which were not released until some years later. Later that year he recorded four albums with Don Cherry. In December he joined the Cecil Taylor group in Stockholm after seeing them play at a local venue. He went to Denmark with Taylor and made his official debut recording, My Name Is Albert Ayler in January of 1963 with a group of local musicians. He continued to tour with the Taylor group and returned with them to New York but again financial difficulties forced him to return to Cleveland where he received economic support from his parents before moving back to New York and for a while shared musical ideas with likes of Ornette Coleman in impromptu jam sessions. Through out his life he periodically depended on financial help initially from his parents and later from his friend and mentor John Coltrane.

He married Arlene Benton on January 14th, 1964.

The Danish Debut Records label organized the recording of Witches and Devils in New York around February of 1964. A second set of more traditional material was also recorded at the same time that was later posthumously released. In July of 1964 Albert Ayler recorded his masterpiece for the ESP label with his newly formed trio of Gary Peacock on bass and Sunny Murray on drums. The LP Spiritual Unity remains a classic 43 years after its recording.

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Album Review

Albert Ayler: Summertime To Spiritual Unity Revisited

Read "Summertime To Spiritual Unity Revisited" reviewed by Giuseppe Segala


Tra gli anni Cinquanta e Sessanta del Novecento, una vorticosa accelerazione spinse le arti e alimentò la creatività verso esplorazioni audaci, esprimendo personalità e individualità di valore universale. Autentico visionario, tra urlo febbrile e tenera carezza, tra ruvida e profonda adesione alle radici afroamericane e tensione verso il futuro, tra riferimenti tematici trasfigurati, inni religiosi, marce bandistiche e dense campiture di puro suono che hanno la forza dell'espressionismo astratto, Albert Ayler attraversò come una meteora il firmamento della musica neroamericana, ...

17
Album Review

Albert Ayler Quintet: Lost Performances 1966 Revisited

Read "Lost Performances 1966 Revisited" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


These works offer a compelling glimpse into the avant-garde jazz landscape of the mid-1960s via saxophonist Albert Ayler's furiously executed phrasings, coated with spiritual intent during his tour of northern Europe. Ayler's work during this period often encapsulated the raw, expressive power and unrestrained improvisational style that defined his music.Ayler's quintet, amid his collaboration with other musicians and group formats, is known for its unconventional approach to jazz, delivering a cacophony of passionate and free-form expressions. Expect an ...

11
Album Review

Albert Ayler: More Lost Performances Revisited

Read "More Lost Performances Revisited" reviewed by Chris May


A state-of-the-art sonic restoration of obscure but historically important Albert Ayler material by Switzerland's ezz-thetics label, which with its parent label, Hat Hut, has been creating an audiophile archive of Ayler recordings with the support of his estate since 1978. All too often, “more" in an album title means “Beware: barrel scraping in progress." Not in this case. More Lost Performances Revisited is primetime Ayler. The disc draws from three sources over a five-year timespan. The earliest ...

14
Album Review

Albert Ayler: Summertime To Spiritual Unity Revisited

Read "Summertime To Spiritual Unity Revisited" reviewed by Chris May


This landmark reissue contains consummately remastered cuts of the killer (among killers) track from Albert Ayler's relatively unknown My Name Is Albert Ayler (Debut 1964) plus the justly celebrated Spiritual Unity (ESP-Disk, 1965) in its entirety. Summertime To Spiritual Unity Revisited starts with “Summertime" from the 1964 album. In his survey The Jazz Standards (Oxford University Press, 2012), Ted Gioia writes that over 400 jazz covers of George and Ira Gershwin's song were recorded in the 1950s ...

6
Book Review

Holy Ghost: The Life & Death of Free Jazz Pioneer Albert Ayler

Read "Holy Ghost: The Life & Death of Free Jazz Pioneer Albert Ayler" reviewed by Matt Marshall


Holy Ghost: The Life & Death of Free Jazz Pioneer Albert Ayler Richard Koloda 312 Pages ISBN: #9781911036937 Jawbone Press 2022 There's a special enthusiasm in the jny: 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 ...

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Radio & Podcasts

Avant Hard

Read "Avant Hard" reviewed by Patrick Burnette


Mike drags Pat out of his blanket fort for close encounters with a couple heavy hitters of the avant-garde, a Chicago legend who doesn't believe in intonation, and a tribute to that legend that gets celestial from time to time. In pop matters Mike talks about a little known jazz short film from the fifties and Pat gets totally tubular. Playlist Discussion of Albert Ayler's album Holy Ghost: Rare and Unreleased Recordings (Revenant) 6:42 Discussion of Cecil Taylor's ...

3
Album Review

Albert Ayler: At Slugs’ Saloon 1966 Revisited

Read "At Slugs’ Saloon 1966 Revisited" reviewed by Mark Corroto


With Albert Ayler it has seemingly always been “what If." What if he had survived that plunge to his death in the East River in 1970? Setting aside the question of whether he was murdered or committed suicide, how would he have altered the course of music if he lived beyond those 34 years? At the time of his passing he had fueled a revolution both in America and Europe for free jazz. Let's not fail to remember that his ...

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Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Source: Michael Ricci

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 ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Source: Michael Ricci

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 ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Source: Michael Ricci

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 ...

2

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Source: Michael Ricci

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 ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Source: Michael Ricci

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 ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Source: Michael Ricci

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 ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Source: Michael Ricci

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 ...

1

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Source: Michael Ricci

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 ...

1

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Source: Michael Ricci

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 ...

1

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Jazz Musician of the Day: Albert Ayler

Source: Michael Ricci

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 ...

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Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

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Summertime To...

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2023

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More Lost...

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2023

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Lost Performances...

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2023

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La Cave...

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2022

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Revelations

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