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.