June 21 street date. Just a few months before Albert Ayler presumably jumped to his death from the Statue of Liberty ferry into the frigid November waters of NYC's East River, he was on stage for two energy filled nights at the Fondation de Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France. Little did he know at the time that the recordings from these live performances would be his last. Although the band is not of the same calibre as some of his earlier ensembles, Ayler - largely with the help of Call Cobbs on piano - still manages one of the best live performances of his career. Although he had spent recent years flirting with R&B, here Ayler returns to the free jazz splendour of his ESP-Disk recordings playing classics from this period like "Spirits", "Holy Family", and "Spirits Rejoice". The final piece, "Music Is The Healing Force of the Universe", also features vocals by Ayler's girlfriend, Mary Maria Parks. Originally released on the French Shandar label in 1970. Released in two parts (along with B145). Limited to 500 copies.
June 21 street date. Just a few months before Albert Ayler presumably jumped to his death from the Statue of Liberty ferry into the frigid November waters of NYC's East River, he was on stage for two energy filled nights at the Fondation de Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France. Little did he know at the time that the recordings from these live performances would be his last. Although the band is not of the same calibre as some of his earlier ensembles, Ayler - largely with the help of Call Cobbs on piano - still manages one of the best live performances of his career. Although he had spent recent years flirting with R&B, here Ayler returns to the free jazz splendour of his ESP-Disk recordings playing classics from this period like "Spirits", "Holy Family", and "Spirits Rejoice". The final piece, "Music Is The Healing Force of the Universe", also features vocals by Ayler's girlfriend, Mary Maria Parks. Originally released on the French Shandar label in 1970. Released in two parts (along with B144). Limited to 500 copies.
June 28 street date. After a few years spent living in Sweden and touring with Cecil Taylor's Jazz Unit, Ayler moved to NYC to begin imposing his revolutionary style of jazz on the world through a number of groundbreaking records. 'Spirits', recorded at Atlantic Studios in New York City on 24 February 1964, was his first effort. Recorded a few months prior to his landmark album for ESP-Disk, 'Spiritual Unity' (but only released in Europe on Denmark's Debut Records), for the occasion Ayler recruited Norman Howard (a Cleveland-based trumpeter), well-known bassist Henry Grimes, drummer and right-hand man Sunny Murray and the then-unknown bassist Earle Henderson. This historic early disc is essential Ayler.
June 28 street date. Following a few years spent living and playing in Scandinavia, an unknown saxophone player by the name of Albert Ayler returned home to the USA to begin imposing his revolutionary style of jazz on the world. Having recorded his debut album, 'My Name Is Albert Ayler' for the Danish label Debut Records, this session (which took place in New York City on 24 February 1964) was his first American effort, resulting in the eventual release of two albums: 'Spirits' (released in 1964 on Debut) and 'Swing Low, Sweet Spiritual', which remained unissued for 30 years. Here, a quartet featuring Ayler on tenor and soprano sax, Call Cobbs on piano, Henry Grimes on bass and Sunny Murray on drums, provide a fresh reading of five well-known African American spirituals and gospel hymns, plus "Old Man River", taken from the 1927 musical 'Show Boat'. This is an extremely rare album from Ayler's early period.
June 23 street date. 2015 repress. ESP-Disk's vinyl edition of this classic 1965 blowout by free jazz icon Albert Ayler restores the original front-cover art. 50th Anniversary Remaster from the original tape. On this Judson Hall session (ESP used the empty concert hall as their "studio," its reverberation adding to the bigness of the sound) both Ayler's playing and his new band's sound even more intense than before, the parts of the players sometimes only loosely related. Some defended it as an energetic ensemble style harkening back to the early days of New Orleans jazz in its intertwining of independent lines; it came to be called "energy music" and started a movement that was quickly joined by Frank Wright and that continues in the playing of Charles Gayle, Sabir Mateen, and Peter Brötzmann. Albert Ayler, tenor saxophone; Donald Ayler, trumpet; Charles Tyler, alto saxophone; Sunny Murray, drums; Call Cobbs, harpsichord; Henry Grimes, Gary Peacock, basses. Recorded Sept. 23, 1965, at Judson Hall, New York City.
December 11 street date. Expanded, combined edition of Albert Ayler's Bells (recorded in 1965) and Prophecy (the first documentation of Ayler's trio with Gary Peacock and Sunny Murray, recorded in 1964). The five cuts from the original 1975 Prophecy release are augmented here by another six tracks from the same 1964 gig, recorded a month before Ayler's seminal Spiritual Unity (ESPDISK 1002CD) by Canadian poet Paul Haines at a concert at a 91st Street club. The denser sound of "Bells" shows Ayler moving toward the bigger sonic statement made on Spirits Rejoice (ESPDISK 1020CD/LP, 1965); ESP-Disk' founder Bernard Stollman was so excited by "Bells" that he originally released it in 1965 on one side of an LP without delaying to record additional music to fill the other side. Personnel: 1.01.: Albert Ayler, tenor saxophone; Donald Ayler, trumpet; Charles Tyler, alto saxophone; Lewis Worrell, bass; Sunny Murray, drums. Recorded live at Town Hall, New York City, May 1, 1965. 1.02-2.06.: Albert Ayler, tenor saxophone; Gary Peacock, bass; Sunny Murray, percussion. Recorded live at Cellar Café, New York City, June 14, 1964. "... tenor man Albert Ayler has probably, next to Coltrane and Cecil Taylor, held the most sway on the direction of improvisation from a 'thematic' or 'phrase-based' approach to that of a purely sonic one." --Clifford Allen, All About Jazz
June 10 street date. Recorded in Stockholm on October 25, 1962, this session is one of Ayler’s earliest recordings, featuring a European backing group he assembled during his brief stay there, before returning to the States in 1963 and beginning his legendary run with ESP-Disk and Impulse! Though his genius is not yet fully formed, one can easily hear he’s headed that direction, and this rare and long out of print recording is an essential piece of the history of one America’s most uniquely lyrical voices on the saxophone.
May 12 street date. (Limited edition on opaque yellow vinyl) ESP-Disk present a reissue of Albert Ayler's Prophecy, originally released in 1975. Recorded in concert at the Cellar Cafe, NYC, June 14, 1964. Three weeks before this trio recorded ESP-Disk's first jazz album, the epochal Spiritual Unity, it was captured "live" by Canadian poet Paul Haines, who also recorded the New York Eye and Ear Control soundtrack. This is one of the most influential groups in jazz history, a coming together of like-minded innovators who would be considered crucial influences by succeeding generations, so there is no question of the immense value of this material. Yoked, in the CD era, to the one-sided 1965 LP Bells, made with a different band in a very different style a year later, it is perhaps best appreciated on its own. Personnel: Albert Ayler - tenor saxophone; Gary Peacock - bass; Sunny Murray - drums; Paul Haines - engineer.
December 1 street date. 180-gram opaque white vinyl. Reissue of Albert Ayler's Bells, recorded live at Town Hall, New York City, May 1, 1965, and originally released that year. The original release left the B-side blank; here, it contains the tune "Vibrations," recorded at Variety Arts Studio, New York City, July 10, 1964, and first released in error on one '60s pressing of Spiritual Unity (ESPDISK 1002CD/LP). "Bells": Albert Ayler, tenor saxophone; Donald Ayler, trumpet; Charles Tyler, alto saxophone; Lewis Worrell, bass; Sunny Murray, drums; engineer: Richard Alderson. "Vibrations": Albert Ayler, tenor saxophone; Gary Peacock, bass; Sunny Murray, drums.
Available now. 2017 repress; originally released in 1966. Featured artists: Albert Ayler (tenor sax), Ed Blackwell (trumpet), Don Cherry (trumpet, cornet), Sunny Murray (drums), Gary Peacock (bass), Roswell Rudd (trombone), John Tchicai (saxophone, alto sax). Michael Snow is a Canadian national treasure, a true Renaissance man. He assembled a stellar group to improvise a sound track for his art film, titled Walking Woman, featuring a silhouette that is rumored to have been inspired by Carla Bley. Digitally remastered. Manufactured in the USA by the original label. New digipak format. "This is a very interesting set, music that was freely improvised and used as the soundtrack for the 34-minute short film New York Eye and Ear Control. Tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler leads the all-star sextet (which also includes trumpeter Don Cherry, altoist John Tchicai, trombonist Roswell Rudd, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Sunny Murray) on two lengthy jams. The music is fiery but with enough colorful moments to hold one's interest throughout." --Scott Yanow, AllMusic
July 19 street date. Saxophonist Albert Ayler's work straddled various streams of the jazz idiom. The Albert Ayler Trio during 1962 consisted of Ayler, bassist Torbjörn Hultcrantz, and drummer Sune Spångberg. Four dissonant songs from their live performance on October 24, 1962 would be issued on the Bird Notes label in Sweden as Something Different!!!!!! and reissued overseas as the first edition of The First Recordings. The exceedingly rare The First Recordings, Vol. 2 , also issued on Bird Notes, comprised of three extended meditations of discord, namely blown mutations of showtunes.
June 26 street date. First pressing in almost 40 years! Albert Ayler's 1969 album "New Grass" has been misunderstood from the day of its release. The album finds Ayler experimenting with soul music and digging back into his R&B roots (he started his career playing saxophone with Chicago bluesman Little Walter), fusing it with avant-garde free jazz (the one element of the record which garnered consistent praise) and adding the vocals of Rose Marie McCoy, The Soul Singers and Ayler himself. As if predicting the divisiveness of the record to follow, Ayler speaks directly to the listener and explains that "New Grass" is nothing like his albums before - that it is of "a different dimension of his life" -in the album opener "Message from Albert". "New Grass" deserves reconsideration, if not for the heavy grooves and surprising arrangements, then for its bravery in challenging norms of the time; by the 1960s, jazz was well-accepted as a uniquely American art form, while soul as a genre was very much still seen as primitive. Ayler melds them together and creates something novel, adventurous, and completely his own.
Available now. Remastered 180g Black vinyl reissue. Vibrations is the second album released by American free jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler’s quartet, featuring Don Cherry, Gary Peacock and Sonny Murray. This album was recorded in Copenhagen in September of 1964. Originally issued by the Freedom label, it also been released under an alternate title, Ghosts. Previously out of print for decades, these recordings have been remastered for an audiophile-grade pressing on 180-gram vinyl at Pallas in Germany.
November 24 street date. Albert Ayler’s Quartet Features Don Cherry, Gary Peacock and Sonny Murray » Previously Out of Print for Decades » Pressed at Pallas Group in Germany on 180gram Audiophile-Grade Vinyl » Blue & White Swirl Color Vinyl Edition » Limited to 1,500 Copies Worldwide. Vibrations is the second album released by American free jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler’s quartet featuring Don Cherry, Gary Peacock and Sonny Murray. The album was recorded in Copenhagen on September 14, 1964. Originally issued by the Freedom label, it has also been released under an alternate title, Ghosts. Previously out of print for decades, the recordings have been remastered for an audiophile-grade pressing on 180gram vinyl at Pallas in Germany. This blue and white swirl color vinyl edition is limited to just 1,500 copies worldwide, available exclusively for Black Friday Record Store Day 2017.
September 16 street date. Skokiaan presents a reissue of Albert Ayler Quartet's Ghosts, originally released in 1965. Ghosts, by free jazz master Albert Ayler and his quartet, is a classic. Ghosts is some of the most intriguing and wicked music ever experienced. Ayler and his mates, Don Cherry on trumpet, Sonny Murray on drums and Gary Peacock on bass guitar, are definitely on par with the other free jazz gods like John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. From a pop music perspective, this may be only screeching and overblown saxes and some non-structured fiddling on drums and bass, so that it's far different than the average mainstream. But if the listener has a fondness for soundscapes, improvisations and music that creates more of an atmosphere rather than fluffy melodies, this is a great record. From time to time, Ayler and his band start with straight melody lines and soon let it all run free before partly returning to recognizable and memorable melodies. On the title track, Ayler plays some sweet and swinging sax harmonies while drums and bass still rumble and blast completely improvised lines in the back. The composition named "Vibrations" is another of these outbursts of insanity. Ayler and Cherry duel each other for the most free and twisted player. Murray pounds the kettles and cymbals like a maniac and Peacock joins in on standing bass. Ghosts is an ongoing rumbling and definitely strange. Free jazz fanatics will surely love Ghosts. For fans of Coltrane and Coleman, this is a must have.
February 10 street date. Recorded in the Dutch city of Hilversum, this album presents Albert Ayler in all his blowzy, testifying glory, fronting a quartet that includes trumpeter Don Cherry, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Sunny Murray. The repertoire includes five Ayler originals, notably his signature tunes “Angels,” “Ghosts” and “Spirits.” It’s easy to forget how starkly original Ayler was, given the untold number of contemporary free saxophonists who’ve built entire concepts around his sax style. This album is a welcome reminder. Imitators adopt surface characteristics of Ayler’s music—manifested mostly in the use of certain “extended” techniques—but very few capture the subtlety of which he was capable: the contrasts of dynamics, articulation, vibrato, register and phrasing; the sense of drama as a solo unfolds. Obviously, he’s in collegial company here. However misused his example has been by lesser musicians, this music retains an everlasting power (jazztimes)