described by one contemporary reviewer as being like 'a salvation army band on LSD', Albert Ayler's band of 1966-1967 marks possibly the greatest attempt to fuse the New Thing of the 60s with the jazz of the 1920s. Rousing, spiritual-like themes, startling in their simplicity, burst out and collide, break apart into raucous solos - both collective and individual - then somehow claw their way back again. The tunes sound strangely familiar, like something recognised that you might have sung at school, a wisp of something hear and there that you a sure you know. But these are something completely different. These tunes rip themselves into pieces and reform, both familiar and unrecognisable.
Don Ayler, Albert's trumpet-playing brother, shows that he was both a remarkable composer and performer. Much maligned by critics, Don Ayler lacked something in perfect technique but made up for this in power and passion. While his one composition on this set, 'Our Prayer', may sound like it has its roots in Albert's 'Truth is Marching In', it is clearly a different piece with a much simpler, darker form.
This is a fantastic album, the power and majesty of Albert Ayler's band contained over 4 tracks without any loss of clarity and purpose. The whole of it, along with the double album material that was released originally as part of Impulse's 'dedication series' and a couple of extra tracks that have had no/minimal release, is available on the complete Greenwich Village set Live In Greenwich Village: The Complete Impulse Recordings
(which should be seen as a must by everyone) but if you don't fancy more than an albums worth of such material - and you like the far-out swirling cover-design - then this is an excellent place to dip into the wonderful world of Albert Ayler.