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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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.

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 ...

RADIO

The Jazz Avant-Garde in the 1960s (1960 - 1966)

Read "The Jazz Avant-Garde in the 1960s (1960 - 1966)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Nurtured in the seminal recordings of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor in the mid to late 1950s, the jazz avant—garde came into its own in the 1960s with their continuing creations, those of John Coltrane already featured in this program and those of next generation players, Joe Harriott and Albert Ayler. Defining statements of the free jazz movement in the early 1960s by Coleman, Taylor, Harriott and Ayler in this hour of Jazz at 100. Playlist Host Intro ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Albert Ayler: Quartets 1964: Spirits To Ghosts Revisited

Read "Quartets 1964: Spirits To Ghosts Revisited" reviewed by Mark Corroto

When did you first encounter saxophonist Albert Ayler's music? Not 'hear' because hearing was just part of the experience. Call it the shock of the new or just the discovery of a totally original sound, Ayler's music was a revelation. That first encounter will probably always be one of those “where were you when you first heard Ayler" stories to share with friends. Enter Werner X. Uehlinger's Hat Hut Records and its new ezz-thetics label which, with permission ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Albert Ayler: Quartets 1964: Spirits To Ghosts Revisited

Read "Quartets 1964: Spirits To Ghosts Revisited" reviewed by Chris May

Before considering the music on this disc, something else has to be celebrated—the resurrection of Werner X. Uehlinger's Hat Hut label (see past profiles). Founded in 1975, the Swiss-based company's hatOLOGY series championed European and American outer-limits jazz, producing a large catalogue of newly recorded and legacy material. Sadly, in 2016, financial pressures obliged Uehlinger to sell the back catalogue and the hatOLOGY name to Outhere Music. But just three years later, Uehlinger and Hat Hut are back, with hatOLOGY ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Albert Ayler: Copenhagen Live 1964

Read "Copenhagen Live 1964" reviewed by John Sharpe

Even more than 50 years on, there's still never been anyone quite like Albert Ayler. Or for that matter like this 1964 Quartet, which was one of the few ensembles during his career to match the tenor saxophonist against equally forward thinking peers. Bassist Gary Peacock was fresh from pianist Bill Evans' Trio, cornetist Don Cherry was based in Europe having worked with both Ornette Coleman and Sonny Rollins, while Sunny Murray had held the drum stool in pianist Cecil ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Albert Ayler Quartet: Copenhagen Live 1964

Read "Copenhagen Live 1964" reviewed by Mark Corroto

It's almost as if the phenomenon that was saxophonist Albert Ayler was just a dream. Nearly fifty years after his death, listeners (and musicians, for that matter) are still catching up to him, and realizing his gift. His life, like that of Charlie Parker, ended at age 34. But where Parker (an originator of bebop) developed in the musical world of Kansas City, Ayler seemingly stepped off a spaceship to deliver his provocative free jazz.  Ayler's early career, ...


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