Thursday, January 27, 2005
Holy Ghost, thy name is Albert Ayler.
Today I returned to my exploration of the fantastic Revenant Records box set: Holy Ghost with disc 3. After all the international settings and various personel of the opening two discs this one settles in for three sets from April 16 and 17, 1966 in Cleveland, OH with the Albert Ayler Quintet. The recording quality is a bit rough compared to the first two discs, but the joyful sound and ideas on it make it well worth the restoration effort.
This incarnation of the Ayler Quintet features sibling Donald Ayler on trumpet and Michel Sampson on violin and right away the interplay between sax, trumpet and violin is striking. Albert Ayler's unique voice is well served by such sympathetic company. This group is especially exciting as the players give each other such latitude to ebb and enter the fray while maintaining incredible rhythmic momentum. Much of the improvisation found here (particularly on "Ghosts") reaches a transcendent level. Ayler is in full stride, he has a great band and they're definitely "on" for this gig.