In response to a recent Ayler post, I put together this YouTube playlist…

Albert Ayler – Impulse Studio Recordings

During his time with Impulse, Albert recorded Albert Ayler In Greenwich Village (1967) – re-released with extra material as the 2cd Live In Greenwich Village: The Complete Impulse Recordings. Somewhat misleading: yes, the complete Greenwich Village, but hardly the complete Impulse. Musically this set is typical mid-period Ayler: sing-song tunes morph into gospel-y Free Jazz hoedowns and back again.

The first studio album on Impulse, Love Cry, is mostly in a similar vein, brighter perhaps, with less of the eldritch apocalyptic vibe. Includes some of Ayler’s odd yet charming vocalizing.

It is with the next 3 albums that controversy arose. Ayler adds to his repertoire a bunch of R&B, blues improvs, bagpipe playing…A lot of people at the time dismissed them as a bald attempt at selling out, though a weird and inept one. Those records, however, have been undergoing a revival, seen as prophetic, as weird mixes and cross-genre hybrids become common in the postmodern Jazz world.

Added to this playlist are 3 of the 4 excellent studio tracks unearthed for the mammoth Holy Ghost box set. Missing from YT is only the brief Sermon which consists of Albert reciting something along these lines: Fear ye not, for the Great Sacrifice is yet to come! This is the Revelation I have received through The Holy Father to those he has anointed with the Holy Ghost, so that through Jesus Christ we will be Saved! Useful info, no doubt, but of limited musical value.

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