Articles

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

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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 ...

16

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 ...

7

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 ...

5

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 ...


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