ALBERT AYLER — Reevaluations: The Impulse Years

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4.00 | 2 ratings | 1 review
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Boxset / Compilation · 1973

Tracklist

A1 Zion Hill 6:07
A2 New Ghosts 4:10
A3 Drudgery 8:08
B1 Love Cry 3:53
B2 Sun Watcher 7:33
B3 Oh! Love Of Life 3:48
B4 Water Music 6:10
C1 Holy Ghost 7:34
C2 Universal Indians 9:50
D1 Again Comes The Rising Sun 6:49
D2 For John Coltrane 13:40

Line-up/Musicians

Track A1:
Bass – Alan Silva
Drums – Milford Graves
Harpsichord – Call Cobbs
Saxophone [Tenor] – Albert Ayler

Track A2:
Bass [Electric] – Bill Folwell
Drums – Bernard Purdie
Lead Vocals, Saxophone [Tenor] – Albert Ayler
Piano – Call Cobbs

Track A3:
Bass – Stafford James
Bass [Fender] – Bill Folwell
Drums – Muhammad Ali
Guitar – Henry Vestine
Piano – Bobby Few
Saxophone [Tenor] – Albert Ayler

Track B1:
Bass – Alan Silva
Drums – Milford Graves
Saxophone [Alto], Vocals – Albert Ayler
Trumpet – Donald Ayler

Track B2:
Bass [Electric] – Bill Folwell
Drums – Bernard Purdie
Organ, Piano – Call Cobbs
Saxophone [Tenor], Whistle – Albert Ayler

Track B3:
Bass – Bill Folwell, Stafford James
Drums – Muhammad Ali
Piano – Bobby Few
Saxophone [Tenor], Vocals – Albert Ayler

Track B4:
Bass – Bill Folwell, Stafford James
Piano – Bobby Few
Saxophone [Tenor] – Albert Ayler

Track C1:
Bass – Louis Worrell
Cello – Joel Friedman
Drums – Sunny Murray
Saxophone [Tenor] – Albert Ayler
Trumpet – Donald Ayler

Track C2:
Bass – Alan Silva
Drums – Milford Graves
Saxophone [Tenor], Vocals [Vocalise] – Albert Ayler
Trumpet – Donald Ayler

Track D1:
Bass – Bill Folwell, Stafford James
Drums – Muhammad Ali
Piano – Bobby Few
Saxophone [Tenor] – Albert Ayler
Vocals – Mary Maria

Track D2:
Bass – Alan Silva, Bill Folwell
Cello – Joel Friedman
Saxophone [Alto] – Albert Ayler

About this release

Impulse!/ ABC Records – AS-9257-2 (US)

A1 and B1 recorded February 13, 1968, in New York City; from Impulse AS-9165 Love Cry.
A2 and B2 recorded September 5 and 6, 1968, in New York City; from Impulse AS-9175 New Grass.
A3 and B3 recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City, August 26-29, 1969; from Impulse AS-9191 Music is the Healing Force of the Universe.
B4 and D1 recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City, August 26-29, 1969; from Impulse AS-9208 The Last Album.
C1 recorded in performance at The Village Gate, New York City, March 28, 1965; from Impulse AS-90 "The New Wave in Jazz".
C2 recorded August 31, 1967, in New York City; from Impulse AS-9165 Love Cry.
D2 recorded in performance at The Village Theater, New York City, February 26, 1967, in New York City; from Impulse AS-9155 In Greenwich Village.

Thanks to snobb, js for the updates

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ALBERT AYLER REEVALUATIONS: THE IMPULSE YEARS reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
Reevaluations: The Impulse Years” is of course a collection of Albert Ayler’s work on the Impulse label, the label he was on for the last part of his life before his untimely death. Many devoted fans of Ayler and avant-garde “purists” often denounce his work on Impulse for straying too far from the classic free jazz he helped invent in the early 60s. Certainly this collection of tracks makes for a bizarre and eclectic mix, and actually there is no shortage of free range blowing on here, its just that on his Impulse albums he started to introduce elements into his music that proved a little much for his earlier fans. One of the biggest complaints with Ayler’s Impulse work involves his use of vocalists. Certainly avant-garde jazz vocals can be an acquired taste and a hard sell, but you can’t be surprised that Ayler’s restless spirit would want to try new things. The vocals on here range form theatric declarations (“Again Comes the Rising of the Sun”), stately atonal melodies in semi-operatic style, free jazz vocalizing and some echoed chant at the beginning of “New Ghosts” that had me thinking early Funkadelic or Pink Floyd.

Other complaints about Ayler’s Impulse work includes use of unorthodox instruments such as the electric harpsichord and the introduction of RnB into his music. Ayler’s attempts at RnB have been called commercial sell-outs, but there is absolutely nothing commercial about Alyer’s expressive gritty take on this music. First of all, Ayler’s late 60s RnB recordings sound nothing like the sophisticated soul music of the time, but instead hark back to an older era of gut bucket blues and New Orleans drum line shuffles. Ayler’s playing on these cuts is bold and uncompromising as he recreates the raw sound of a bygone era in rowdy club music. Although purists of either genre might not appreciate this mix of avant-garde and down home barroom rowdiness, in reality, once its late at night and the musicians are sauced and the crowd is feisty, this is often the sort of noise you hear coming from dives and juke joints all around the world. Ayler’s rough take on RnB can also be seen as an important predecessor to the “free-funk” scene that would come later from Ornette Coleman and Blood Ulmer.

There is an interesting variety to this album, along with the vocal numbers and rough hewn RnB you also get some classic Ayler free sessions performing in interesting ensembles such as “For John Coltrane” which pairs Albert with three string players in a thoughtfully restrained live performance. The big plus throughout this collection is of course the big bold sound of Ayler’s tenor saxophone. Albert never compromised and remains one of the most original and innovative voices in jazz ever.

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