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Live In Greenwich Village: The Complete Impulse Recordings


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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Mar 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B0000240LA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 180,444 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Holy Ghost 7:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Truth Is Marching In12:39Album Only
Listen  3. Our Prayer 4:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Spirits Rejoice16:22Album Only
Listen  5. Divine Peacemaker12:37Album Only
Listen  6. Angels 9:53£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. For John Coltrane13:39Album Only
Listen  2. Change Has Come 6:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Light In Darkness10:56Album Only
Listen  4. Heavenly Home 8:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Spiritual Rebirth 4:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Infinite Spirit 6:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Omega Is The Alpha10:46Album Only
Listen  8. Universal Thoughts 8:22£0.99  Buy MP3 

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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Rgs Draycott on 28 Nov 2005
Format: Audio CD
If heavily armed aliens came to Earth and said, "Give us a reason why we should not wipe humans off the face of the planet," I would play them "Angels" from the first disc of this two disc set, and they would leave in shame. It took me a long time to come to a point where I could appreciate Ayler, but this CD, which is among the finest work he ever did, helped a lot. Ayler seemed to believe that every sound that could be made should be a part of music, and this is why he includes "noise" in his playing, along with lightspeed solos, blasts of enormous tonalities, and pure sheets of abstract sound. His melodic statements are simple but played with such force and conviction and such rawness that it demands some sort of reaction from the listener. You will either think you are hearing God's own music or the worst sort of devilish noise; there are no halfway places with Ayler.
This CD set really shows Albert Ayler at his best, combining musical ideas to create the essentially spiritual sound that he heard in his head, a sound that was meant to inspire his listeners to transcendence. This is not easy music to listen to because it violates nearly every rule of not only jazz but music as it is normally played and heard, but it is terribly, terribly important to listen to this music. Why? Because Albert Ayler's music is one of the most pure expressions of the human spirit ever recorded. If you listen to this, I mean really listen, and not try to use it as background music - if you give it your full attention, put aside your preconceptions about what music should or should not be, and open your mind to the sounds on these two CDs, you will be changed. And for the better.
There really was no one like Albert Ayler in jazz during the 1960s. (Or before....
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gerald Seeley on 28 Nov 2005
Format: Audio CD
"Live in Greenwich Village: The Complete Impulse! Recordings" brings together two Albert Ayler LPs, "Albert Ayler in Greenwich Village" and the posthumous "The Village Concerts", together with a track released on a compilation and one unreleased piece, all recorded in Greenwich Village in Manhattan between 1965 and 1967. Ayler by this point had totally codefied his music, and was still outside of any commercial influence, and the performances are nothing short of astounding.
These recordings find Ayler surrounded by sympathetic musicians, including his brother Don on trumpet, who totally believe in what he's doing-- the music is largely familiar sounding march themes played in harmony and unison by the two horns, supported more often than not by strings, with drumming abandoning timekeeping and instead coloring the music further. Improvisation is fierce, with both Ayler's reachign far beyond themselves-- their playing is clearly inspired. Honestly, just about everything on here is nothing short of astonishing in its beauty and power. Of particular note is "Truth is Marching In" from the first disc-- swelling as Don states the theme and Ayler plays counter and harmony to him while Michel Samson lays full counterpoint on violin and the rhythm section explodes. Also quite interesting is the piano and tenor duet "Angels" and "For John coltrane", again the only piece featuring Ayler on alto accompanied only by four strings.
The sound on these recordings is fantastic-- crisp, clear, and could have been recorded last year. The liner notes include essays by Nat Hentoff and Robert Palmer written for the original LPs most of this material was released on.
If you're new to Ayler, this may be a good place to start, certainly the performance is brilliant throughout. If you're not new to Ayler, you should probably have a copy of this, the material contained here is essential.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Arachnid TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 May 2006
Format: Audio CD
These 'Live in Greenwich Village' performances covering the period 1965-67 are some of the most passionate and emotional in all of jazz and is arguably Albert Ayler's finest hour(or two!)
Someone once described this music as sounding like "a Salvation Army band on LSD" and it's certainly a potent mixture of childlike themes, New Orleans marching tunes, collective free-for-alls and Ayler's blistering saxophone.
A highlight for me is the Village Vanguard 1966 recording of 'Angels' which is Ayler's impassioned, intensely moving and melodious duet with a pianist who's probably Call Cobbs Jr.
Anyone wanting just one example of Albert Ayler in their collection need look no further than this magnificent double CD which contains astonishingly powerful and stirring music.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 22 reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
An ultimately important human achievement 24 Feb 2000
By happydogpotatohead - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If heavily armed aliens came to Earth and said, "Give us a reason why we should not wipe humans off the face of the planet," I would play them "Angels" from the first disc of this two disc set, and they would leave in shame. It took me a long time to come to a point where I could appreciate Ayler, but this CD, which is among the finest work he ever did, helped a lot. Ayler seemed to believe that every sound that could be made should be a part of music, and this is why he includes "noise" in his playing, along with lightspeed solos, blasts of enormous tonalities, and pure sheets of abstract sound. His melodic statements are simple but played with such force and conviction and such rawness that it demands some sort of reaction from the listener. You will either think you are hearing God's own music or the worst sort of devilish noise; there are no halfway marks with Ayler.
This CD set really shows Albert Ayler at his best, combining musical ideas to create the essentially spiritual sound that he heard in his head, a sound that was meant to inspire his listeners to transcendence. This is not easy music to listen to because it violates nearly every rule of not only jazz but music as it is normally played and heard, but it is terribly, terribly important to listen to this music. Why? Because Albert Ayler's music is one of the most pure expressions of the human spirit ever recorded. If you listen to this, I mean really listen, and not try to use it as background music - if you give it your full attention, put aside your preconceptions about what music should or should not be, and open your mind to the sounds on these two CDs, you will be changed. And for the better.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Amazing. 5 Aug 2005
By Michael Stack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
"Live in Greenwich Village: The Complete Impulse! Recordings" brings together two Albert Ayler LPs, "Albert Ayler in Greenwich Village" and the posthumous "The Village Concerts", together with a track released on a compilation and one unreleased piece, all recorded in Greenwich Village in Manhattan between 1965 and 1967. Ayler by this point had totally codefied his music, and was still outside of any commercial influence, and the performances are nothing short of astounding.

These recordings find Ayler surrounded by sympathetic musicians, including his brother Don on trumpet, who totally believe in what he's doing-- the music is largely familiar sounding march themes played in harmony and unison by the two horns, supported more often than not by strings, with drumming abandoning timekeeping and instead coloring the music further. Improvisation is fierce, with both Ayler's reachign far beyond themselves-- their playing is clearly inspired. Honestly, just about everything on here is nothing short of astonishing in its beauty and power. Of particular note is "Truth is Marching In" from the first disc-- swelling as Don states the theme and Ayler plays counter and harmony to him while Michel Samson lays full counterpoint on violin and the rhythm section explodes. Also quite interesting is the piano and tenor duet "Angels" and "For John coltrane", again the only piece featuring Ayler on alto accompanied only by four strings.

The sound on these recordings is fantastic-- crisp, clear, and could have been recorded last year. The liner notes include essays by Nat Hentoff and Robert Palmer written for the original LPs most of this material was released on.

If you're new to Ayler, this may be a good place to start, certainly the performance is brilliant throughout. If you're not new to Ayler, you should probably have a copy of this, the material contained here is essential.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Can I Get A Witness? 14 Mar 2006
By Alistair McHarg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Astonishing 2-CD set, excellent value, good packaging (except for ugly cover) and outstanding booklet with notes from Nat Hentoff and Robert Palmer. Impulse! usually equals quality and this offering is no exception. Combining the live dates was a particularly good, and customer-friendly, idea.

It's been said of Coltrane that he didn't so much play the music as "play through it" in order to reach a higher spiritual goal. One can also hear this in the playing of Eric Dolphy who, though quite technical at times, appeared to be constantly exploring, looking for that pure place. Pharaoh Sanders reveals the same struggle. But in the playing of Albert Ayler one finds the apotheosis of this approach.

Listening to Ayler is akin to witnessing old-testament revelation, he plays with the inspired intoxication and sanctified fury of a man who has not only been to the mountaintop and seen the Promised Land but already has one foot in it. You will never hear this music in an elevator for the simple reason that it would cause businessmen to rip off their ties, weep like infants, get on their knees and pray, and confess their countless sins of mediocrity and cowardice.

While Ayler certainly deserves center stage for his euphoric and completely original contribution to jazz, the other players fan the flames expertly. Brother Don, on trumpet, shares the vision and is no slouch. Both drummers featured, Beaver Harris and Sunny Murray, understand that Ayler generates such intense rhythm that timekeeping is not an issue; they are free to maneuver around the beat expressively.

Most intriguing of all is the use of strings. Ayler went with two bass players on both sets, also using a cellist and violin player on some tracks. This adds an unearthly and highly unexpected texture to the playing that works marvelously well. The stunning Michel Samson violin solo on Truth Is Marching In demonstrates that Ayler has surrounded himself with fellow musicians who completely understand his style and ambition. The result is a kind of rapture, this is what it sounds like when a soul catches a glimpse of heaven and starts its voyage home. Truly righteous music.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A must (at least for free jazz freaks)! 15 Jan 2000
By Gerhard Auer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
PART ONE - FOR THE UNINITIATED: It's hard to judge a recording as extreme as this one merely on musical grounds. This is as far as an overblown saxophone can go; Ayler plays as if he were in trance all the time (maybe he was), even during the long march-like ensemble passages, and then suddenly, without a transition, he burst into his high-pitched trademark squeals - one of the most influential and most exhilarating (for less adventurous souls, probably one of the most ear-deafening) sounds in jazz history. - Not for everyone, that's for sure - people who are quick with the notorious My-5-year-old-child-could-play-this-too comment (which, of course, would be ridiculous in this case) will probably hit the eject button after one minute - but it should on no account be missed by anyone interested in Albert Ayler (or free jazz in general). It`s one of the best examples for his style and - together with his 'Spiritual Unity' - one of the cornerstones of modern jazz.
PART TWO - FOR THE SPECIALISTS: 1.) This release combines the originals 'In Greenwich Village' and 'The Village Concerts' and additionally includes the track 'Holy Ghost' (which was included in the LP version of the Various Artists Impulse! record 'The New Wave In Jazz', but not in the CD version) and a previously unreleased duet with an uncredited piano player. 2.) The sound quality is better than usual. 3.) An essential acquisition!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
more angel than demon: saint albert 30 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
These recordings have long been a milestone in my personal understanding of jazz, ever since finding a used-bin vinyl of the original "Greenwich Village" (great psychedelic cover) in my teens and being totally blown away and inspired, just as when I first heard Coltrane. While that disc contained the most memorable themes here, it's amazing to experience the sessions in their entirety, with much better sound. The Texas correspondent who faults Ayler's technical ability is missing the point: even if he's right (and I disagree - Ayler is playing exactly as he intends to), who cares? This music isn't about chops, but expression. Along with Trane's Complete Village Vanguard box, this was the most important (and overdue) live jazz reissue of '98.
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