Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Happy (75th) Birthday, Albert!
Albert Ayler, tenor saxophonist, July 13, 1936-November 25, 1970
Albert Ayler Trio (Albert Ayler, ts; Gary Peacock, bass; Sunny Murray, drums), Spiritual Unity (ESP), 1964
“Ghosts: First Variation”
“Ghosts: Second Variation”
OK, let’s talk physics. One problem with the term “free jazz” is that it suggests a sound world in which there’s no center of gravity—a world where everything pushes outward, where centrifugal force rules. But the reality, with many of the greatest artists, is different. Centripetal, not centrifugal, force is king. The musicians push inward, not outward, toward a center none ever inhabits individually but, collectively, they are always moving toward.
The contributions of Gary Peacock and Sunny Murray are hard to overstate. Sidemen? There are none.
Today, from noon to 9 p.m. (EST), WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University) is all Albert Ayler.