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Customer Review

on 7 July 2008
One thing that catches my ear on this album is a significant change in Albert Ayler's sound. It was in the year this was recorded that Trane died. As can be heard from interviews with Ayler on the smashing Revenant HOLY GHOST cd collection released recently, this had a huge effect on him. However, it seems that with this came not only grief but also maturity. His sound is phatter, gone are the "Trane-isms" of avant-garde music, and we are moving into the Live at Greenwich Village epoch of marching bands and more structured improvisation.
The format of the band is notable. Instead of a trio, there is a sextet (two basses,drums and the three horns) on all tracks except the staggeringly beautiful "angels" in which veteran Call Cobbs, one of the most underappreciated musicians in jazz history, plays Rocksichord.
The bass-work of Gary Peacock fits in well with Sunny Murray's drumming: percussive, more concentrated upon evoking images through patterning, rather than complementing the horn players. These two were well-known from the earlier trio recordings, however Henry Grimes also makes an appearance with some of his standard bowed work. Another notable part of this recording is Don Ayler, the trumpeter who never made it after a mental breakdown in 1967, but who could have done great things.
Needless to say, Albert Ayler steals the show. But the songs he chooses are what astounds me most, with the terrifyingly energetic "Prophets", the frankly harmonious "Holy Family" which can be heard in a more complex version in Ayler's last album ever, "Nuits de la fondation maeght" in 1970. Also, there is DC, Angels and the title track. At 11 minutes, it is both the lengthiest and the most extreme.
What remains for me to say? I have given more praising five-star reviews to Ayler in the past, and in all truth, this is neither his best nor his worst. However,it deserves a listen, because, as he himself stated "One day people will understand my music.". We are the future of his vision, and it is our job to understand every part of his colossal legacy.
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