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ALBUM REVIEWS

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 REVIEWS

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 ...

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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 REVIEWS

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, ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Albert We Hardly Knew Ye

Read "Albert We Hardly Knew Ye" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The Chinese mystic philosopher Lao Tzu wrote, “the flame that burns twice as bright, burns half as long." Although he never heard the music of Albert Ayler, we're sure that he would agree the saxophonist's fire music was luminescent. Ayler's career was indeed quite brief, recording only for a period of eight years until his untimely dead at age 34, in 1970. The description of the flame is also apropos, as Ayler was quoted as saying, “Trane was ...

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Albert Ayler: Spiritual Unity

Read "Spiritual Unity" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Fifty years after the recording of Albert Ayler's Spiritual Unity, the music (and the man) are still causing tumult. It is not so much that free jazz hasn't been on our radar these past decades, it's just that this recording remains one of those “where were you, when you first heard it?" experiences. Recorded in a very small, hot studio in July of 1964, the album which thrust the new label ESP onto the map, consisted of just ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Albert Ayler: Lorrach, Paris 1966

Read "Lorrach, Paris 1966" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

This is the third edition of the original pressing by hatOLOGY records, containing re-masters of tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler's live performances in Lorrach, Germany, and live tracks recorded at the Paris jazz festival, culled from his 1966 European tour. In the liners, Peter Niklas Wilson asserts that the George Wein produced the “Newport in Europe" tour and that Ayler was given second-class accommodations, contrasting what was tendered to the likes of Dave Brubeck and Stan Getz. But it's also noted ...


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