Here’s why jazz titan Albert Ayler matters

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Albert Ayler in park in Harlem, New York, 1966. (Val Wilmer/REVENANT RECORDS )
Albert Ayler in park in Harlem, New York, 1966. (Val Wilmer/REVENANT RECORDS )

Albert Ayler in park in Harlem, New York, 1966. (Val Wilmer/REVENANT RECORDS )

Jazz thunder-god Albert Ayler would have been 80 years old today, July 13, had he not died under famously weird circumstances at the age of 34 in 1970.

Twelve years ago, back when people still purchased CDs, the Austin-based Revenant Records cranked out an extraordinary box set on the man, the first such that had ever existed. To hear much of it was to weep tears of joy.  (Some of this material can be now be found on Spotify, as can much of Ayler’s music in general.)

Here is my 2004 piece on Ayler and the box.

And here is an Alyer primer if you have no idea who he is. It is you I am jealous of this morning as you get to hear of him, and hopefully hear him, for the first time. Start with “Spiritual Unity” and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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