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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

12 O'Clock Track: Albert Ayler, "Our Prayer—Bells"

Posted By on 01.25.12 at 12:00 PM

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In 1966 daringly original jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler toured Europe as part of an annual "Newport in Europe" package. Each night his band closed the show, following performances by Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Dave Brubeck, Max Roach, and Illinois Jacquet—considering how divisive Ayler's music was at the time, I suspect the organizers wanted him playing last in case half the crowd raised a stink or walked out. A number of fantastic live recordings from that tour have been made available over the years, and the best have surfaced on Swiss label Hatology (formerly Hat Hut). Last fall it released Stockholm, Berlin 1966, which contains full sets from each of those cities. The Berlin portion was previously issued as part of the massive box set Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost (Revenant), but the Swedish set has never been released before; even if you own the Berlin material, the Stockholm recording is worth the price of admission. The band consists of Ayler on tenor, his brother Donald on trumpet, Michel Samson on violin, William Folwell on bass, and Beaver Harris on drums. Below you can check out the medley "Our Prayer—Bells."

Albert Ayler, "Our Prayer—Bells"

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