Sax on the Web Forum banner
21 - 35 of 35 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009-
Joined
·
2,766 Posts
snip ... double post
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009-
Joined
·
2,766 Posts

·
The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum
Joined
·
27,647 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
7,921 Posts
Sorry to revive such an old thread. I listened to two Ayler albums yesterday.
I loved it. He had something unique going on, especially on the trio album.
It's sad he died so young. Who knows what he might have accomplished.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,665 Posts
Ayler played the music of his time, as he conceived it.
It is full of passion and intensity, simplicity of line and complexity of sound- a bit like Jimi Hendrix in a certain way.
There is a lot of pain and joy, intertwined in ways that we don't usually hear.

I think there is some connection to the sound of Billie Holiday's STRANGE FRUIT, where the intention isn't about beauty or even music. It's about something much more serious.

Albert came of musical age in a time when the music carried, or tried to carry, a much heavier burden perhaps than now.
In any event, Ayler moved the music forward.

Archie Shepp told me about the first time he heard Albert live ( with Gary Peacock and Sunny Murray). He said it sounded like the IRT subway was coming through the room.

FWIW, I recorded an homage to Albert that will be on my new trio disc on MODE Records early next year. There's a preview on my Myspace page.
It's called DECEMBER SONG FOR ALBERT

http://www.myspace.com/joegiardullomusic
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,968 Posts
I saw Ayler several times, most memorably, maybe beause it was the first time, during the Oct. Revolution (or was it November?) loft events in NYC. Hearing him live for the first time, it was pretty scary. The word conjure comes to mind. Sonny Murray and Gary Peacock. Whew. If you like Ayler, you might want to check out Frank Wright. He was playing in a similar style around the same time. If you don't like Ayler, but have only heard Ghosts, etc, you might want to check out his first recording (if you can find it), which was recorded in Coopenhagen, I belive, titled My Name is Albert Ayler. He plays some orignals, but also Summertime, and it has a lycricism and warmth that might surprise you, though still outside. Gary mention's Shepp's Fire Music - another great example of a kind of raggedy loose funky ensemble playing and writing that very few seem to have explored since.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
So in short, no one knows Ayler's set up (hahaha)

I love him and echo a lot of the sentiment expressed here about his music. Nice to see so many people get what he was trying to do, to purely express, and he did that so amazingly well. The fact that he played, at Coltrane's request, at his funeral should be enough to show at the very least what Coltrane thought of him.

Also FWIW (nothing) I love Shepp's 'Girl From Ipanema'. I have to say at first I was really unimpressed but it grew and grew on me and now I love it.
 

·
Distinguished Member
Joined
·
1,248 Posts
This is an old thread, but I think well worth bringing up again.

Ayler's tone is maybe my favorite in all of music. And to me it comes from the ecstatic side of the emotional spectrum, very far from hate. But to some extent, it's also just that pure wave of energy that can't really be defined, music is abstract after all and doesn't fit into boxes, so some people will place it where they want.

Anyway, re set up. I do believe he used hard reeds and big open tips. He had a couple periods playing different mouthpieces. Early on a Berg, later a link. I believe at least some of the early period he was using synthetic reeds. On some recordings you clearly see him with a Link and a baritone reed.

106707


The biggest thing about that sound though, is his air. You can't get anything that even approaches that sound without putting a colossal amount of air through the instrument. There are some players who can get a fairly big, aggressive sound on recordings, but you hear them live and it's not really there. I guarantee Ayler was not one of those. There are a lot of free jazz players who growl, and Ayler did too, but a lot of his raw sound is from overblowing and really knowing how to get the overtones to sing.

Milford Graves, who recently passed, mentioned that Coltrane wouldn't get on a stage with Ayler. Someone in our class sort of took issue with this, and asked Milford to explain. Milford said no one could handle Ayler's power. My classmate pointed out that Coltrane invited Pharoah to join his group because Pharoah could scream all night. Milford just shook his head. Obviously, no one is questioning Coltrane or Pharoahs musical power, but I think just in terms of how huge Ayler's sound was, it would have been hard to compete. Milford could also be a bit of a provocateur...

For my money, I'd say Ab Baars has the closest sound I've heard. Not at all a copy, just in regards to quality of tone. Of course, I was born too late to hear Ayler live...
This is the first clip I found on a google search just now.

Ab plays an Otto Link 13*. Sometimes with hard reeds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I posed the question on a facebook group and the answer I got was: He played a Selmer Mark 6 early on. Then he switched to a Buffet Crampon Super Dynaction. His mouthpiece seemed to always be a Berg Larsen except on the New Grass cover where he's playing an Otto Link.....

Yes Ayler was a one off. I understand that, often with the true musical greats, you have to meet them halfway to fully understand what's going on, and at first it can be very harsh or hard to work out, especially from an intellectual point of view (and it is sadly a common and mistaken view, that he was a bad player or hadn't studied etc etc etc) but well for me, I think over intellectuallising music often misses the point of music which is, essentially, a way to communicate emotion above and beyond everything else (IMO). The trick is to find the track that drags you in. For me it was his version of Summertime on 'Spiritual Jazz 4' but once you meet him halfway, he opens a door to a world that is rare and beautiful.
 

·
Distinguished Member
Joined
·
1,248 Posts
I posed the question on a facebook group and the answer I got was: He played a Selmer Mark 6 early on. Then he switched to a Buffet Crampon Super Dynaction. His mouthpiece seemed to always be a Berg Larsen except on the New Grass cover where he's playing an Otto Link.....
Funny, i think i answered you there too.

The whole question about if he could play bebop is so stupid.... Without arguing whether he could or not, who cares? His music wasnt bebop. Could bird nail the Berio? Does it matter if he could? And, by the way, nobody can play like Ayler.
It's like going to a coat store and asking if they also make shoes, otherwise you're not buying.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,266 Posts
The whole question about if he could play bebop is so stupid.... Without arguing whether he could or not, who cares? His music wasnt bebop. Could bird nail the Berio? Does it matter if he could? And, by the way, nobody can play like Ayler.
It's like going to a coat store and asking if they also make shoes, otherwise you're not buying.
I vehemently agree with this, and not just for Ayler. Players need to do what moves them and to hell with some arbitrary "you have to learn to play every solo in the Omnibook in all 12 keys to be a real player" kind of standard.

No knock on a comprehensive education and I'm not denying that developing technical skill and historical context can and will enrich your musical life and playing. There are just so many ways to make a meaningful contribution musically.

I am trying to be better about admitting that something isn't for me without trying to justify why I'm not connecting to it with some "it must be crap and here's why" kind of explanation.
 

·
Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
Joined
·
9,885 Posts
The documentary film My Name Is Albert Ayler is IMHO required viewing for anyone interested in Albert's life and music. It's made it's way to youtube now:

In terms of folks inspired by Ayler, there were Hal Russell, Mars Williams and the NRG Ensemble, an underground jazz band in Chicago that final hit the jazz "big time" (festival tours, ECM records) just as Hal's time on earth was running out. Hal also played drums and owed a clear debt to Sunny Murray who is heavily featured in the film above. Mars also had a group called Witches and Devils that paid tribute to Ayler: Witches & Devils - Live at the Empty Bottle - Amazon.com Music

David Murray in his early years played a lot like Ayler, for example:

It took enormous guts for guys like Albert to bust through existing conventions they way they did in the 1960s.
 
21 - 35 of 35 Posts
Top