6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2012
This was recorded in 1964 as the soundtrack for a film 'Walking Woman'. I don't recollect seeing it when it first came out on the ESP label. That label's distribution was always a bit erratic and after it moved into recording anti-Vietnam war rock it was pretty much put out of business by the US government, so it didn't last very long, anyway.
On this session Ayler is accompanied by Gary Peacock on bass and Sunny Murray on drums, who formed his working band of the time, and also Don Cherry, Roswell Rudd and John Tchicai, added to it for this session.
The opening track 'Don's Dawn' lasts only one minute, and is a slow, stark, but very attractive trumpet solo by Cherry with minimal accompaniment, mainly from Gary Peacock. After that, the two remaining tracks are both mainly collective ensembles, each lasting over twenty minutes. Bass and drums do not play as a rhythm section but as equal parts of the ensemble, which goes along with a churning motion. It's not swing but it is rhythmic.
The horns all play well. Ayler is the dominant figure in the ensemble, with his huge wobbling tone, very emotional, but always demanding attention. Cherry plays stark lines, with a slightly sour tone, and provides a good lead to the group, almost as if it was a New Orleans band. Tchicai and Rudd play attractive lines but are slightly less prominent and use less tonal distortion than Albert himself. You can't really comment on the solos because it's nearly all ensemble.
I find Albert Ayler fascinating. When he first came on to the scene he should have been horrifying he was so different to what had gone before. He wasn't, because although he was so different he was firmly rooted in jazz and its deepest, blackest traditions. Although this disc is ferociously avant garde it is also inescapably, and naturally, from the same place as King Oliver.
Not the best known of Albert's records but very fine, and well worth investigation.