Albert AYLER 1964

I'm not really an Albert Ayler's fan for all of his recordings, but I always loved this album.
Enjoy this peaceful moment...

More accessible than most of Albert Ayler's other recordings, GOIN' HOME comprises several well-known folk anthems. Ayler's huge tone and wide vibrato are apparent on all seven tracks, and on "Down By the Riverside", he sounds eerily close to Rahsaan Roland Kirk both in terms of tone and musical conception. Performing emotional renditions of traditional American songs, Ayler might be misconstrued as a musical caricaturist. But upon deeper listening, it's apparent that Ayler is paying homage to his musical and cultural roots in a truly creative and unique fashion. Indeed, this music may be free jazz at its best. Ayler's music is slow, plaintive, stately, and often introspective. Because of the lengthy rubato (without steady tempo) selections, GOIN' HOME breathes both with pride and sentimentality, quite compellingly evoking the ghosts of America's dubious past.


Albert AYLER ss, ts, Call COBBS Jr p, Henry GRIMES b, Arthur "Sonny" MURRAY dr,

One of the giants of free jazz, Albert Ayler was also one of the most controversial. His huge tone and wide vibrato were difficult to ignore, and his 1966 group sounded like a runaway New Orleans brass band from 1910. Unlike John Coltrane or Eric Dolphy, Albert Ayler was not a virtuoso who had come up through the bebop ranks. His first musical jobs were in R&B bands, including one led by Little Walter, although oddly enough he was nicknamed "Little Bird" in his early days because of a similarity in sound on alto to Charlie Parker. During his period in the army (1958-1961), he played in a service band and switched to tenor. Unable to find work in the U.S. after his discharge due to his uncompromising style, Ayler spent time in Sweden and Denmark during 1962-1963, making his first recordings (which reveal a tone with roots in Sonny Rollins) and working a bit with Cecil Taylor. Ayler's prime period was during 1964-1967. In 1964, he toured Europe with a quartet that included Don Cherry and was generally quite free and emotional. The following year he had a new band with his brother Donald Ayler on trumpet and Charles Tyler on baritone, and the emphasis in his music began to change. Folk melodies (which had been utilized a bit with Cherry) had a more dominant role, as did collective improvisation, and yet, despite the use of spaced-out marches, Irish jigs, and brass band fanfares, tonally Ayler remained quite free. His ESP recordings from this era and his first couple of Impulse records find Ayler at his peak and were influential; John Coltrane's post-1964 playing was definitely affected by Ayler's innovations.
However, during his last couple of years, Albert Ayler's career seemed to become a bit aimless and his final Impulse sessions, although experimental (with the use of vocals, rock guitar, and R&B-ish tunes), were at best mixed successes. A 1970 live concert that was documented features him back in top form, but in November 1970, Ayler was found drowned in New York's East River under mysterious circumstances.

To be continued...

1 comment:

littleblueyellow said...

This is one of my favorite records and I danced to several tunes from this collection. It was my second solo performance and some twenty years ago in NYC, NY.