Before you could say Tiger Woods, here's Albert Ayler, who was an
avid golfer - he captained his school team, with Mary Maria "between
tees" in Brooklyn in the late '60s.
The end also
came as suddenly as the beginning. By 1970, Ayler's free jazz had
yet to find an appreciative audience outside of a small circle of
jazz aficionados. His brother Donald, who followed Ayler's muse,
found the lonely road too insecure and had a breakdown. Ayler himself
was found dead in December 1970. His body was fished out of New
York's East River. For decades rumours were rampant that he had
been murdered by drug dealers, the mafia and even the FBI.
to a book, As Serious As Your Life, by Val Wilmer, Albert Ayler
committed suicide. Wilmer's source is Ayler's girlfriend Mary Maria
who told Wilmer that one night in December Ayler, blamed by his
family for Donald's breakdown, suddenly jumped to his feet screaming
over and over, "blood must be shed", and smashed his saxophone over
the TV, before running out of the house. Twenty days later, police
found his body in the river.
Now, 35 years
later, Revenant have chosen to honor the memory of Albert Ayler
by releasing a nine-disc box set, Holy Ghost, one of BigO's albums
This box was
inspired by the fan-compiled 11-CD Albert Ayler Tree, which has
different content from the official release. Whichever you choose
to listen, Ayler's music will always stay demanding. It's never
too late to throw away your Norah Jones CDs.
- The Little Chicken
here to see what's inside the 11-CD Albert Ayler Tree.
Click here for Philip Cheah's review
of Albert Ayler's Holy Ghost and Spiritual Unity.
AYLER OUT ON VINYL
Albert Ayler's Holy Ghost is now available on vinyl from Revenant
Records on March 31, 2005. A lavishly packaged 3LP is the
first edition in a series bringing Holy Ghost to vinyl. Features
deluxe double gatefold cover, a gorgeous 24" x 24" poster,
postcard, printed innersleeves and more. Clear vinyl. Catalogue
Here are the tracks:
Side A: 1. 1. [tune Q] 2. [untitled] 3. D.C.
Side B: 1.[untitled minor waltz]
2. Prophet/Ghosts/Spiritual Bells
Side C: 1. [F#Tune] 2. Ghosts/Bells
Side D: 1. Truth Is Marching In 2. "Free Spiritual
Music", part IV 3. Japan/Universal Indians
Side E: 1. Four
Side F: 1. Venus/Upper and Lower Egypt
This is what the critics are saying:
(out of 5). Lavish. Holy Ghost is the monument Ayler deserves..."
Excavates much that will be new even to fetishists with home
- Village Voice
Ghost sets the platinum standard for Aylerology. Unprecedented."
more than the reissue of the year, Holy Ghost feels--and sounds
- like the work of lifetimes."
- Sunday Herald (UK)