Albert Ayler was a lightning rod for criticism both from within the music community and from without. His free-thinking approach made him a bane for jazz traditionalists, and his incorporation of popular American musical styles like soul, R&B, and even rock made him a sellout to the free jazz crowd. His volume in The Impulse Story series – one of ten individual artist titles to accompany both the book The House That Trane Built: The Impulse Story by Ashley Kahn and the four-CD label history set of the same name from Universal, is in many ways the very evidence of both points on the scale. ~ AllMusic
Holy Ghost is the first comprehensive attempt to build a monument in sound to Albert Ayler. The settings – radio and TV sessions, studio demos, private recordings, live concert footage – find his music at its most liberated. And with the sponsorship and assistance of Ayler's family, friends, and colleagues, Holy Ghost documents his never-before-heard first and last recordings, bookending rare and unissued music from every stage of his career.revenantrecords.com
Very Rare 1985 release by the legendary Don Cherry. The connection between the spacey jazz trumpet of Don Cherry, and the later urban funk of his daughter Nenah, always seems a bit weak – until you hear this 1985 effort, which has Cherry working in a strange mix of contemporary rhythms and his older funkier styles. Cherry actually lays down vocals on a number of tracks, in a self conscious bluesy sort of way that's almost in a pomo kitschy style. The effect doesn't always work, but there's more than a few interesting moments on the LP. Titles include "Art Deco", "Call Me", "Rappin Recipie", and "Treat Your Lady Right".
If Eternal Rhythm was Don Cherry's world fusion masterpiece of the '60s, then Brown Rice is its equivalent for the '70s. But where Eternal Rhythm set global influences in a free jazz framework, Brown Rice's core sound is substantially different, wedding Indian, African, and Arabic music to Miles Davis' electrified jazz-rock innovations. And although purists will likely react here the same way they did to post-Bitches Brew Davis, Brown Rice is a stunning success by any other standard. By turns hypnotic and exhilarating, the record sounds utterly otherworldly: the polyrhythmic grooves are deep and driving, the soloing spiritual and free, and the plentiful recording effects trippy and mysterious.
Two previously unreleased 1960s performances by Don Cherry in quintet format. The first show was recorded in Denmark in 1963 (but a different date that the release on Storyville) and showcases the New York Contemporary Five, featuring Cherry with Archie Shepp, John Tchicai, Don Moore and J.C. Moses.
One of Don Cherry's most spiritual, far-reaching projects – a wonderful record that builds both on his key avant work of the 60s, and some of the globally-inspired sounds he was cutting overseas! This date was done in close collaboration with the New York underground of the time – and the large group features work from a rich array of great musicians – including Charles Brackeen on soprano and alto sax, Carlos Ward on alto, Frank Lowe and Dewey Redman on tenors, Charlie Haden on bass, Carla Bley on piano, and Ed Blackwell on drums – working with additional string and percussion players in a sound that's completely sublime! There's a great ear here for unusual sonic twists and turns, yet these are mixed with some deeper organic tones, and some freer jazz passages – all to really ignite a great fire as the set rolls on.
Lou Reed was touring in support of Rock and Roll Heart, when he rolled into L.A.'s Roxy and played a set that was recorded for later radio broadcast. Reed and his road band (which included Michael Fonfara on keys and Marty Fogel on sax) sound like they're having a fine time, and with free jazz legend Don Cherry sitting in, the band's frequent jams give this an exploratory feel that sets it apart from some of Reed's other live sets of the period.